FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 14, 2004
Operation Outcry: Silent No More
Conn. Contact: Annie Banno, 203-820-9898
Headquarters contact: Anne Newman, 210-614-7175 – Cell: 210-771-0757
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ; National Help Line 1-866-482-LIFE
Roe v. Wade one step closer to Supreme Court --
Appellate Court denies motion but offers hope
Today the U.S Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied Norma McCorvey’s motion to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court’s decision that made abortion legal in America.
“The ruling is not a surprising development,” said Allan Parker, President of The Justice Foundation. “It moves us one step closer to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will ultimately decide this case,” he said.
Norma McCorvey, former Roe of Roe v. Wade, stated, “I am disappointed that the loss of children and damage to women will continue. I long for the day when the Supreme Court reverses my case, which brought a great injustice to America.”
The last time the Supreme Court used a Rule 60 motion to overturn one of its own 12-year-old decisions was in Agostini v. Felton (1997). In that case, the party in McCorvey’s position lost in all of the lower courts before winning at the Supreme Court. [emphasis this author] That is why McCorvey has provided the Court with over 5,000 pages of evidence, over one thousand affidavits from women hurt by abortion [this author's included], and a significant amount of scientific and technical evidence so the Supreme Court will have adequate evidence when it ultimately decides this case.
The concurring opinion of Appellate Judge Edith Jones offers hope for overturning Roe and encourages the Supreme Court to reevaluate Roe v. Wade when this case gets to them:
“One may fervently hope that the [U.S. Supreme] Court will someday acknowledge such developments and re-evaluate Roe and Casey accordingly. That the court’s constitutional decisionmaking leaves our nation in a position of willful blindness to evolving knowledge should trouble any dispassionate observer not only about the abortion decisions, but about a number of other areas in which the Court unhesitatingly steps into the realm of social policy under the guise of constitutional adjudication.”
In its decision, the appellate court disagreed with the lower district court: “Essentially, the district court concluded that a 30-year delay, regardless of the circumstances, is too long as a matter of law. We disagree. ... Accordingly, the district court erred in initially determining that the 30-year delay was ‘unreasonable’ without examining the facts and circumstances of this particular case,” the ruling states. However, the three-judge panel denied McCorvey’s motion to overturn Roe v. Wade on the grounds it was moot because Texas had repealed, by implication, the statute banning abortion when it passed a subsequent statute allowing abortions in licensed abortion facilities.
McCorvey, who is considering her options at this time, can now point out the court’s error by filing a motion for rehearing before the three-judge panel or to the entire Appellate Court en banc, or she can appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. She has 14 days to make her decision and is consulting with her attorneys.
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On several occasions, the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned its own precedents using Rule 60(b)(5) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as mentioned above in the 1997 decision of Agostini v. Felton. “There is no time limit on justice,” said Parker in August 2003, noting that courts have reversed themselves after as much as 41 years in some Rule 60 cases.
Brown v. Board of Education (1954) overturned a 58-year-old high court precedent, and was considered "The landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision overruling the constitutionality of the 'separate but equal' doctrine that had been the legal basis for racial segregation of the nation's public schools."
"Since the turn of the 20th century, the southern states had had a legal justification for requiring black students to attend segregated schools. The Supreme Court's 1896 ruling inPlessy v. Ferguson upheld segregated railroad car seating in Louisiana on the grounds that 'equal but separate' seating did not violate the black passengers' rights to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. For half a century, this near-unanimous decision (only one justice dissented) served as the legal grounds for racial segregation in virtually all areas of southern life, including education."Using Rule 60, there are three major arguments to re-open and overturn Roe v. Wade on the basis of changed facts and law:
- Norma McCorvey, and those of us 1,000+ women who have actually had abortions, signed those legal affidavits attesting to the devastating emotional, physical, and psychological trauma of abortion which we personally have suffered. These affidavits are the largest body of sworn evidence in the world on the negative effects of abortion on women. It is over one thousand times more evidence from women than the Court heard in Roe v. Wade.
- The unanswered question in the Roe decision, “when does human life begin?” was treated by the Court as a philosophical question when the case was first heard in 1973. Since then, an explosion of scientific evidence on human life conclusively answers the question that life begins at conception.
- The state of Texas in 1999 enacted a law in which it agreed to provide for any woman’s unwanted child from the child’s birth to 18 years of age with no questions asked. Legally, because the state has agreed to take responsibility for all unwanted children, women should no longer be forced to dispose of “unwanted” children by ending a human life. Forty states have similar SafeHaven/Baby Moses laws.
If anyone is interested, there is still time to sign a "Friend of the Court" (FOC) petition. Anyone can do it, there's no need to be a lawyer, and it only costs a postage stamp. The petition simply means that you join with thousands across the nation who've put it into legal evidence that we agree that: "It is not in the human or legal interest of any mother to kill her own child. A mother's true interest is in her child's life and her relationship with her child. Roe v. Wade should be overturned."
Both men and women over the age of 18 years can sign. These petitions will be added to that 5,000 pages of evidence in court, but you won't be identified by name nor will you have to appear in any court at any time. You can ask to be known only by initials or a pseudonym. You don't even need to have the petition notarized. The form is downloadable from the website.
From this same site, anyone can download Affidavit forms to be filled in ONLY by those who've had an abortion. No identifying information is ever made public if you so choose, so no one in your world will know if you do this, although all affidavits must be notarized to be accepted as legal evidence. All you need do is cover over the content of the document when the notary signs it. They don't need to know what you're signing, only that it is you signing it.
All affidavits and FOC petitions, even submitted right up until the case goes before the U.S. Supreme Court, will still be helpful to the motion's success.