Rape, Abortion, and Roe v. Wade

Just this week, a politician got in trouble for his unfortunate remarks about rape and abortion. While the media has been piling on, enjoying a feeding frenzy over that which he himself has apologized for, there’s another story (also out of St. Louis) I want to draw attention to.

If abortion were made illegal—except in the cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother—that would reduce the rate of abortions by about 98 percent.

Ultimately, we have abortion on demand because of a claim about rape. The whole premise of Roe v. Wade was that the plaintiff in the case, Jane Roe (who we now know was Norma McCorvey) was raped—gang-raped no less.

But years later, Norma McCorvey revealed that she had lied. She said, “I initially I had told Sarah Weddington [the ACLU attorney for Roe] that I had been raped—and I was not raped.”

In the mid-1990s, Norma had a come-to-Jesus moment and changed from being the poster child for abortion to being an avid opponent of it. She said in an interview on Christian TV, “I was a hippie of sorts and I sold drugs, and that’s what got me into so much trouble. I didn’t know how to respond to people and their problems. Since 1995, I’ve been walking with Jesus Christ, and I tell you: you can’t find a better life.”

Before her change, she had worked in an abortion clinic and saw firsthand what the industry can do to women. She said, “You are totally different after you’ve had an abortion. Abortion kind of sucks your soul dry; it makes you a very angry person inside, from what I’ve seen.”

Roe v. Wade has resulted in the deaths of 55 million unborn babies—that’s almost twice the entire population of Canada. I wonder how many Americans realize that it was based on a lie.

Norma McCorvey attempted to overturn Roe in a case that went nowhere.

Meanwhile, there’s a challenge to Roe looming on the horizon in South Dakota, whose state motto is quite appropriately, “Under God, the People Rule.” This challenge would be big news, but the liberal media seems to be obsessed with the poor foot-in-the-mouth remarks of conservative politicians (while giving liberal ones a total pass, it would seem).

A couple of years ago, the legislature of South Dakota passed a law, requiring that a woman seeking an abortion in that state be informed about some of its risks—including the potential emotional risks. One such risk is the possibility of committing suicide. As could be expected, Planned Parenthood has fought this bill in the courts.

By a vote of 7 to 4, Planned Parenthood lost the decision at the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (based in St. Louis) late last month. This is big news; and if the results had been reversed, it likely would have been reported widely.

Dr. Allen and Leslee Unruh, the pro-life leaders in South Dakota, have championed this bill, as well as other pro-life work. Dr. Unruh said that this court decision (Planned Parenthood v. Rounds, July 24, 2012) will be the Gettysburg of the war over abortion in America.

Much of the court’s decision centered around this: Is there or is there not credible evidence that some women after having an abortion become suicidal because of the procedure?

The court ruled, “Based on the record, the studies submitted by the State are sufficiently reliable to support the truth of the proposition that the relative risk of suicide and suicide ideation is higher for women who abort their pregnancies compared to women who give birth or have not become pregnant.”

The court noted the opposition’s perspective: “Planned Parenthood contends that requiring a physician to present the suicide advisory imposes an undue burden on abortion rights and violates the free speech rights of the physician.”

But the court disagreed: “At a minimum, it appears that many published authors in the field do not accept the opinion of the APA’s six-person task force that the ‘best evidence’ suggests that there is no real significance to the link between abortion and suicide….In conclusion, we hold that the requirements of [the South Dakota bill] are satisfied by a disclosure that the relative risk of suicide and suicide ideation is higher for women who abort compared to women in other relevant groups, as described in the relevant medical research.”

On the day of the ruling, Leslee Unruh of the Abstinence Clearing House said, “Today’s 8th District Circuit Court of Appeals decision is a victory for all women who have ever been deceived into thinking that aborting their unborn children was the ‘only easy way out.’”

She added, “The 8th District Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the women will now be given additional important information before they consent to an abortion: that the abortion procedure places a woman at increased risk of suicide and suicide ideation.”

Only time will tell if this case could indeed undo Roe v. Wade. Sadly, Roe herself couldn’t undo the damage her earlier lies did. Meanwhile, I would think the news media could report on a little more than some hapless remark that its speaker has himself renounced.