Judge Admits “facts no longer matter” in Abortion Decisions

SAN ANTONIO, September 17, 2004 ( - A Circuit Court judge has dismissed the motion brought forward by Norma McCorvey, known to legal history as “Roe” in Roe v. Wade, to overturn the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the US. However the judge, Edith Jones of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has made some surprising statements in her concurring opinion that gives hope that Roe v. Wade is itself on its way to being history.

McCorvey provided the Court with over 5000 pages of evidence, inlcuding over 1000 affidavits from women hurt by abortion. “The ruling is not a surprising development,” said Allan Parker, President of The Justice Foundation, the organization that is helping to fight the case. “It moves us one step closer to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will ultimately decide this case,” he said.  Judge Jones said that the knowledge and social conditions that now exist have effectively changed the landscape on abortion. She implied that had the facts been known at the time, the decision might have been different. “If the Courts were to delve into the facts underlying Roe’s balancing scheme with present-day knowledge, they might conclude that the woman’s “choice” is far more risky and less beneficial, and the child’s sentience far more advanced, than the Roe Court knew.”  However, she warns that because laws have become entrenched, no ‘live controversy” will arise that would allow the Supreme Court to re-criminalize abortion. She admits that the Courts over the years have taken the issue of abortion out of the hands of representative, democratic legislative bodies. “The perverse result of the Court’s having determined through constitutional adjudication this fundamental social policy, which affects over a million women and unborn babies each year, is that the facts no longer matter.” She wrote.

Judge Jones concludes, “One may fervently hope that the Court will someday acknowledge (scientific) developments and re-evaluate Roe and Casey accordingly. That the Court’s constitutional decision making leaves our nation in a position of willful blindness to evolving knowledge should trouble any dispassionate observer…about the abortion decisions…”  To read Judge Jones ruling and concurring opinion:

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