In a statement published on WhiteHouse.gov, President Barack Obama championed the landmark 1973 court decision Roe v. Wade, saying that it “affirmed a woman’s freedom.”
Yesterday marked the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. In honor of the court decision, President Obama had this to say:
“Today, we mark the 43rd anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, which affirmed a woman’s freedom to make her own choices about her body and her health. The decision supports the broader principle that the government should not intrude on private decisions made between a woman and her doctor. As we commemorate this day, we also redouble our commitment to protecting these constitutional rights, including protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her right to reproductive freedom from efforts to undermine or overturn them. In America, every single one of us deserves the rights, freedoms, and opportunities to fulfill our dreams.”
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) – a pro-life organization – reports that there have been an estimated 58,586,256 abortions in the United States since the 1973 court decision.
In addition, an estimated 43.8 million abortions occurred worldwide in the year 2008 alone, according to a peer-reviewed article in the well-known medical journal The Lancet. The only other years where worldwide abortions were estimated were 1995 and 2003.
Interestingly, Norma McCorvey was the famous plaintiff in Roe v. Wade. Her attorneys gave her the name Jane Roe to give her some level of anonymity.
When she was 21 years old, she was living with her father in Texas, where she became pregnant with her third child. Her friends counseled her to report the pregnancy as being the result of rape, which they thought could have persuaded authorities to grant her an abortion. However, in the absence of evidence and a police report, and the illegality of abortion in Texas at that time, an abortion wasn’t an option.
Two young attorneys Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington had been working on changing Texas law to allow for abortion, but in order to make their case, they needed to find a pregnant woman who wanted an abortion and who also couldn’t afford to travel to another state that allowed abortion.
Five-months-pregnant Norma McCorvey fit the profile. McCorvey lied to the attorneys and told them that she had been raped, and signed the required affidavit without even reading it, and thus began the court proceedings that led to the infamous Roe v. Wade decision. Since the case took years to settle, McCorvey did not have an abortion. She had the baby and gave it up for adoption.
In the years since the pivotal court decision, Norma McCorvey has actually recanted her former beliefs in abortion rights and has become a passionate pro-life advocate. She became a Christian in the mid-90s and has worked with pro-life organizations such as Operation Rescue, which she left to start her own pro-life ministry “Roe No More.”