John Jalsevac

Two women are behind legalized abortion in America: now both of them want it reversed

John Jalsevac
John Jalsevac
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Jane Roe and Mary Doe, the two plaintiffs in the two cases the legalized abortion in the U.S., both became passionate pro-lifers and want their cases reversed.

Note: Since the original publication of this article, Sandra Cano has passed away, in September of 2014. 

In the debate over abortion in the United States, two women’s names appear more frequently than any others: Jane Roe and Mary Doe, the plaintiffs in the companion 1973 Supreme Court cases that legalized abortion in the country.

As the 40th anniversary of those two cases - Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton - approaches later this month, news media is already filling up with retrospectives from leaders on both sides of the issue about the past 40 years and the state of the abortion debate.

In the midst of this flurry of media coverage a woman named Sandro Cano has quietly issued a media release on a Christian newswire service calling for the two Supreme Court cases to be overturned. This in itself might seem unremarkable, until you learn Cano’s other name: Mary Doe.

Yes, that Mary Doe.

Sandra Cano is none other than the plaintiff in Doe v. Bolton, the lesser known of the two Supreme Court cases that opened the floodgates of abortion in the U.S.

In 1970, a 22-year-old Cano was pregnant with her fourth child, after having lost custody of two of her children and adopting out the third. Abortion was illegal in Georgia, the state where Cano was living, except in extreme circumstances, but lawyers argued that she should be allowed to abort. In a decision released on the same day as Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed.

While the better known Roe v. Wade struck down all state restrictions on abortion pre-viability, Doe v. Bolton extended the right to abort through all nine months of pregnancy.

But Cano has since claimed that the whole foundation of Doe v. Bolton was a lie: that she never actually wanted nor requested an abortion and that she was tricked into signing an affidavit about abortion in the process of filing for divorce from her husband and seeking to regain custody of her other children.

According to Cano she actually fled the state when her mother and lawyer tried to force her into getting an abortion.

In 2003, Cano launched legal proceedings to try to overturn the case that bears her name. “I was nothing but a symbol in Doe v. Bolton with my experience and circumstances discounted and misrepresented,” she wrote in an affidavit at the time.

But while her attempt to have the case reheard failed, this hasn’t stopped her from working to overturn the case in other ways. In her statement this week, Cano reiterated her belief that she was “fraudulently used by the Court system to bring abortion to America.”

“No one should have a right to kill their children. No mother should ever want to do so,” she said, describing her case as a “covenant with death.”

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Meanwhile, another women, Norma McCorvey, briefly captured headlines during last year’s election cycle when she released a pro-life ad featuring graphic pictures of aborted children and accusing President Obama of “killing babies” by his support for abortion.

Most won’t recognize McCorvey’s real name, but will instantly recognize her pseudonym: Jane Roe. Yes, that Jane Roe.

Though McCorvey worked as an abortion activist for years after Roe v. Wade was handed down, she announced a conversion to the pro-life cause in the mid 1990s. The conversion came after the pro-life group Operation Rescue moved in next door to the abortion clinic where she worked, and she came personally to know several pro-life leaders.

“I was persuaded by feminist attorneys to lie; to say that I was raped, and needed an abortion,” Norma stated in last year’s ad. “It was all a lie.”

“Since then, over 50 million babies have been murdered. I will take this burden to my grave,” she said.

In 2003, Norma filed to re-open Roe v. Wade, a petition that was dismissed. Much like Sandra, however, Norma continues to speak out about her involvement in the case.

“I'm 100 percent sold out to Jesus and 100 percent pro-life,” Norma writes in a testimony published on her website. "No exceptions. No compromise."

To many it will come as a shock that neither of the two women whose names are practically synonymous with legal abortion in America actually had an abortion, and that both are now both passionately pro-life and have dedicated their lives to trying to overturn the cases that bear their names.

That very few know about Norma and Sandra is thanks no doubt in part to the silence of abortion activists and a largely liberal and pro-abortion mainstream media, for whom the defection of the pair is an embarassment to be swept under the rug - especially given the women's unflattering descriptions of the deceptive techniques abortion activists used to get them on board in the first place.

Both of the women were young, uneducated, poor, and ripe for exploitation at the time they became the center of a national firestorm. And both of them say that their cases were based upon outright lies: in Norma's case, the lie that she had been raped, and in Sandra's case, that she ever wanted an abortion in the first place. These are facts that are best kept quiet if Roe v. Wade is to stand.

But according to Troy Newman of Operation Rescue, the pro-life movement could also do a better job of telling their own history and reminding people of the precarious foundation of abortion in America.

“Most of the pro-life movement is new,” Newman said in an interview with LifeSiteNews.com, “and the mistake of leaders like me is that we don’t talk much about” the history of the movement.

“I was with Norma when she converted to Christian, and then later to Roman Catholic,” said Newman. “I’ve been in contact with Sandra Cano. And it’s like because I know it, I don’t repeat it.”

The challenge of educating the younger generations was driven home by a Pew Research poll released this month that found that only 44 percent of people under 30 even know that Roe v. Wade dealt with abortion.

But according to Newman, it’s critical that people know the facts about Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. “The foundation of Roe is cracking and crumbling all around us and the ones who prop it up do so artificially by ignoring the facts and the evidence,” he said.

“The abortion industry decided they know how to win on abortion, and that’s not to talk about abortion, and don’t talk about history. But when we look at the objective facts, like Sandra Cano and Norma McCorvey, so many others who were involved or had abortions, they’re against it now," he said.

“And the only way pro-aborts seem to be able to propagate it is to hide the ugly truth of abortion," he added. "Never talk about abortion. Don’t talk about those who converted, and don’t allow any intellectual discourse.”

The stories of Norma and Sandra are important, he said, because they demonstrate how "people that have had any experience with abortion or who have thought about it for any length of time, naturally become pro-life." 

"Sandra Cano and Norma McCorvey are no different," he said. "They’ve seen the terrible side effects of Roe v. Wade, and what it’s wrought on society. Countless seas of wounded poeople. The horrible tragedy of abortion." 

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
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Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

Thank you so much for your support. 

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