Doe vs. Bolton Case not Over Yet says Justice Foundation

Justice Foundation speculates rejection of case was to prevent affirming original 1973 decision
Thu Oct 12, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST

By Hilary White

SAN ANTONIO, October 12, 2006 ( – Although the US Supreme Court did not give a reason for their decision on October 10th rejecting a bid to re-visit a landmark abortion case, the legal firm representing Sandra Cano speculated that it was to prevent affirming the original 1973 decision. reported Wednesday that the Court had refused to hear arguments put forward that Doe vs. Bolton had originally been based on false information. Today, Anne Newman, Director of Communications at the Justice Foundation, told that even with four ‘conservative’ Justices who might have been willing to hear the case, a fifth vote would have been necessary to win it.

Newman said, “The Court does not have to give a reason for its decisions, but we can speculate that they wanted to avoid a situation in which the Doe v. Bolton decision was re-affirmed. We can guess that they talked to the other members and found that they didn’t have the five votes necessary to win.”

The US abortion institution established by the Supreme Court in 1973, is based on two key decisions, Roe vs. Wade being the best known. The second case, Doe vs. Bolton, decided on the same day, expanded the newly “discovered” constitutional “right” to abortion, allowing it at any time during pregnancy with the undefined phrase “woman’s health”.

“We did enter into it with a reasonable hope of winning a hearing, but it’s not over yet,” said Newman. She said that the next step is a case being heard on November 8th in which two states are challenging a law banning the infanticide procedure known as “partial birth abortion.”

The Justice Foundation has submitted an amicus brief in that case in which Sandra Cano’s testimony is included. The states are arguing that because of the “health” exception for abortion established by Doe v. Bolton, the partial birth abortion ban is unconstitutional. The Foundation’s brief and Cano’s testimony shows that the 1973 case was based on fraudulent information. “They have to review our read by the Court.”

Sandra Cano, “Jane Doe” in Doe vs. Bolton, said that she pursued the effort because the original case was founded upon lies and disinformation. Disclosing that she had been manipulated by abortion activists in the American Civil Liberties Union, Cano said in an affidavit in 2000, “What I received was something I never requested—the legal right to abort my child.”

The 1973 case was orchestrated by an ACLU lawyer, Margie Pitts Hames who, Cano said, either forged Cano’s signature or slipped the affidavit among the divorce papers she signed. “I never told Margie that I wanted an abortion. The facts stated in the affidavit in Doe v. Bolton are not true.”

Newman said her firm was hopeful about the future of these cases. “We’re reframing the debate. Until now it has been about ‘choice’ and the doctor/patient relationship. I think our strongest area is the women who have had abortions speaking out and talking about the devastation of abortion.”

“The battleground is shifting to the states level.” Newman said, citing the South Dakota law banning abortion in all cases including rape and incest that is currently awaiting a referendum. “I think it’s already had some effect; it has emboldened lawmakers in other states to propose laws.”

In Louisiana, for example, the state has a “trigger ban,” a law banning abortion completely that will come into effect when the Roe v. Wade decision is overturned. Other states, including Texas, are looking at similar legislation.

Read related coverage:
  Supreme Court Rejects Bid to Re-Hear Fraudulent ‘Doe v. Bolton’ Abortion Case

For another view on the outcome of the case see:
  High Court Refuses Plaintiffs’ Appeal to Vacate 1973 Abortion Rulings

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