Mario Diaz

Though some may disagree, the 1973 Roe v. Wade[1] decision has to be the greatest constitutional blunder of our time.  It is the quintessential example of judicial activism, and it has to be the greatest exercise of (to use Justice White’s phrase) “raw judicial power” ever seen, resulting in the death of close to 50 million lives.

You would think that a decision of such impact would be closely studied and scrutinized by us as a country.  However, a recent Roe I.Q. Test created by Concerned Women for America (CWA), Focus on the Family, The Alliance Defense Fund and the Family Research Council, and taken by more than 40,000 people thus far, reveals that the American people are still ignorant as to the meaning of the decision. 

A recent discussion with an attorney friend revealed his mistaken belief that Roe allowed abortion only in the 1st trimester.  Sadly, he’s not an exception.  The average score for the Roe test was 59 percent — an F!  That’s even worse when you realize that 70 percent of the 40,000 plus participants thought that abortion should be illegal except for the life of the mother or illegal in all circumstances.

So let’s give it a try, let’s take a quick look at Roe again.

This will come as a shock to the millions who still believe that abortion is illegal except to save the life of the mother, but Roe invalidated a law that said just that.  The Texas statutes at issue made it a crime to “procure an abortion …” except with respect to “an abortion procured or attempted by medical advice for the purpose of saving the life of the mother.”  The statutes were first enacted in 1854.

Jane Roe sought a declaratory judgment that the statutes were unconstitutional and an injunction restraining their enforcement.  Roe was pregnant and wanted to terminate her pregnancy by an abortion performed by a competent, licensed physician, but she was unable to get a “legal” abortion in Texas because her life did not appear to be threatened by the continuation of her pregnancy.  She claimed the statutes were unconstitutionally vague and that they abridged her constitutional right to privacy.


Mario Diaz

Mario Diaz is the Policy Director for Legal Issues at Concerned Women for America.

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