She was 21, single, poor, and pregnant. Too poor, in fact, to afford even a back-alley butcher in her home state of Texas, where abortion was then illegal. Too poor to travel to California, where the procedure was permitted. Supposedly pregnant from a gang rape, she filed a suit challenging the Texas abortion law, then went ahead and reluctantly had her child, who was put up for adoption.
This is the history of Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" whose lawsuit led to the Supreme Court's 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion on demand. Now, McCorvey, an abortion-rights activist, has admitted to columnist Carl Rowen that her gang rape story was a fabrication to bolster her legal claim. Like so many other young single women in her predicament, McCorvey says, she became pregnant "through what I thought was love."
Jesse Whitlock wrote the above two paragraphs, citing as his source U.S. News and World Report (Sept. 21, 1987, page 13). This information, as well as the chart across the page, appeared in the August 24, 1989, issue of The Edifier.
As most people are probably aware, Norma McCorvey has recently (1995) changed her views: she is now thoroughly pro-life. These historical notes are of great value since an entire generation has now grown up with abortion being legal.
Historically, people have seen a need to protect life before birth. Hippocrates, in the fifth century B.C., wrote the "oath" which doctors have used for a long time: "I swear by Apollo Physician, by Asclepius... I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly, I will not give a woman a pessary to cause abortion" (The Abortion Holocaust 142).
Christians, by 150 A.D., mentioned specifically this sin in The Didache : "... thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill them when born..." (The Apostolic Fathers 123-24). Of course, the New Testament is our authority, but this quotation shows that brethren were consistent with the Bible.
Doctors under the rule of the Third Reich were required to destroy life, as well as conduct grotesque experiments on the living. Perhaps this fact explains the wording of the Declaration of Geneva, which was passed in 1948: "... I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, party politics, or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient; I will maintain the utmost respect for human life, from the time of conception; even under threat, I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity. I make these promises solemnly, freely, and upon my honor" (Abortion: Questions and Answers 184-85).
It is time once again to restore the respect for life--from the womb--that our forefathers also found necessary to protect.
*Send comments or questions concerning this article to Gary Summers. Please refer to this article as: "Historical Evidences (1/28/96)."