Rule 60 states that "Upon such terms as are
just, a motion can be made by a party and the judgment will be set aside."
Basically, the plaintiffs say they know things now that they didn't know
before, such as the fact that Roe v. Wade and its companion case,
Doe v. Bolton, were based upon lies, the fact of postabortion trauma
suffered by millions of women and the well-documented link between abortion
and breast cancer.
TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF
Norma McCorvey, the Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade,
and Sandra Cano, the Mary Doe of Doe v. Bolton, are now
pro-life Christians. While McCorvey's case was about abortion, even
though she lied to her lawyers, Cano's was not remotely associated
with the gruesome procedure.
In 1970 Cano was a homeless mother of three children
who had been taken away. Cano approached the local legal-aid office
seeking custody of her children and a divorce from her husband.
What she received was something she never requested: the legal right
to abort her child.
Cano admits she was young, uneducated and naive.
"I never wanted an abortion. I just wanted my children back," she
Her legal-aid attorney, Margie Pitts Harries, however,
filed the case under false pretenses. Cano says that either Haines
forged her signature on the affidavit, or she slipped it in among
other papers Cano was told to sign for her divorce. Cano never saw
the affidavit that was filed with the Supreme Court, but she says
unequivocally, "The facts stated in the affidavit in Doe v. Bolton
are not true."
"Before my court date, I was instructed not to
say anything and just be there," Cano says. "This is the only time
I ever made an appearance in court before the Doe decision-and
I never spoke a word."
The deception went further. Cano says that a TV
interview was basically faked. "They set up the cameras facing my
back, and then Margie did all the talking like she was me. It 'wasn't
even my voice."
Years later, when Cano tried to have her court
records unsealed, she was fought by, of all people, her former attorney,
Haines. "At first I couldn't understand why; she knew it was me.
But now I understand."
The affidavit said that she had applied for an
abortion, had been turned down and had therefore sued the state
of Georgia. "According to the records, I had applied for an abortion
through a panel of nine doctors and nurses at [statefunded] Grady
Memorial Hospital," she says. "This is a lie. I contacted the hospital
and tried to get my records. At first they said they were there,
but when my attorney sent for them, the records disappeared, if
they ever really existed,"
In fact, Cano was against abortion. When told she had "won" her
court case, Cano says, "It was like a whole bunch of bricks were
put on my shoulders, and it has been that way ever since. I never
wanted an abortion. Regardless of the worst state of misery or depression,
it would never cross my mind to take the life of a child."
In 1969 Norma McCorvey was a self-described hippie
and often unhappy. "I'd been on the streets since 1 was 9 or 10,"
she says. "I often told my mother, 'I wish I could find the person
who invented life. I'd slap 'em.' "
She was pregnant for the third time-the second time out of wedlock-and
looked into getting an abortion. The illegal abortion clinic she
was referred to was, in the mildest of terms, disgusting.
"There was dried blood all over the floor and on
the side of this makeshift -table," McCorvey says. "There was a
grip hanging from the ceiling. I guess that's what the girls would
hold on to. This was before they could give them anesthesia. I saw
the conditions of the place and went outside to get ill."
Eventually, McCorvey was recommended to two young
women fresh out of law school, Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee.
She lied to them, saying she had been gang-raped.
"They said, 'Well, you know, women have the right
to vote,' " McCorvey says. "I'm sitting there and thinking, Well,
I may live part time in the streets and part time at my dads,
but I'm not stupid, okay? They were treating me like I was stupid,
and I resented that.
"Then they said, 'Well, Norma, don't you think
women should have rights to their own reproductive organs?' And
I'm going, like, yeah. I wasn't real sure what they were talking
about, but then you have to understand that I stayed stoned a lot."
They told McCorvey that the case was only about
Texas' abortion laws. (Ironically, because the case dragged out
in the courts, McCorvey never got an abortion. She gave up the baby
for adoption.) When she found out that the case had gone -all the
way to the Supreme Court and resulted in legalizing abortion in
all 50 states, she was stunned.
"I sat in the dining room that night and just kept
rereading the newspaper story and drinking--drinking and thinking,
" she says. "It made me sad to know that my name, even though it
was a pseudonym, would always be connected to the death of children."
McCorvey got a straight razor and started cutting
her wrists a little at a time. "That didn't work, so I went out
and I got as many pills as I could. I took all of them and chased
it with a quart of Johnny Walker, thinking I would die, and I wouldn't
ever have to talk to Sarah Weddington or Linda Coffee again. But
that was not God's plan for me."
SILENT NO MORE
Both women now are
in a position to take away some of that shame, particularly since
McCorvey became a Christian in the mid-1990s and Cano two years
ago. With the help of the Texas justice Foundation, they are asking
the Supreme Court to rehear their cases. (Tile Foundation is also
representing Donna Santa Marie, a 16-year-old girl whose parents
forced her to get an abortion-after her father allegedly punched
her in the stomach to try to induce a miscarriage.)
Allan Parker, president
of the Foundation, says, "They were willing to listen to Norma the
first time; they ought to be willing to listen to her again."
He is launching a three-phased
strategy called Operation Outcry: Silent No More. (See "What Can
I Do?" right.)
"We have filed a Friend
of the Court brief on behalf of Norma and Sandra, and thousands
of women who have signed our Friend of the Court form, saying they
don't agree with Roe v. Wade."
In Parker's second
phase of litigation, he has sued the Texas Department of Health
for not adequately protecting women's health as it relates to abortion.
"While this suit can't overturn Roe v. Wade, we want women
to be told, 'This is a human life that you're taking. You still
have the choice under Roe, but you may suffer severe psychological
The third phase of
Operation Outcry will be filing the motion to reopen Roe v. Wade
and Doe v, Bolton, based on the fact that false testimonies
were used in both. "I believe that the Supreme Court will take and
hear the case," Parker says. "It's a unique, historic opportunity
in America where two people who won landmark Supreme Court decisions
want to go back."
What Can I Do?
Bringing new evidence to light in this
critical women's health issue, Operation
Outcry has created a first-time forum as many post-abortive women
break the silence about the harmful effects of abortion.
At the time of the initial 1973 Supreme
Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, the Court said: "We need not resolve the
difficult question of when life begins.... The judiciary, at this point
in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate
as to the answer." Today, there is a new body of scientific knowledge
that provides significant evidence about human life in the mother's womb
from the time of conception, along with increasing evidence of the physical,
emotional and psychological damage to women who have experienced abortion.
Organizing the evidence for this case
includes the collection of 100,000 sworn affidavits from post-abortive
women who have suffered from the procedure, and signatures to 1 million
Friend of the Court documents on behalf of post-abortive women and their
supporters, including physicians, attorneys, scientists and public figures.
Friend of the Court participants sign
an agreement to a key principle in this case: "It is not in the human
or legal interest of any mother to kill her own child. A mother's true
interest is in her child's life and her relationship with the child, Roe
v, Wade should be overturned."
"Healing begins when we break the silence,"
says Allan Parker, president of the Texas Justice- Foundation, which is
spearheading this effort. "Your voice is needed. Please get involved with
this historic movement for all women by signing on as a Friend of the
Court or offering a postabortive affidavit."
The Foundation is also organizing women's
rallies across the country in January to show the world that abortion
Visit the Operation Outcry Web site at
for more information on the rallies or to download affidavit or Friend
of the Court forms. You may contact the Foundation by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
or phoning (210) 614-6656.