Welcome to a very special *The More You Know* edition of
Vagina News! So I was having lunch with a friend a week or two ago (hi Mike!),
and he told me a few things I didn’t know about Roe v. Wade. We all know that
the ‘rape exception’ has been the particular focus of reproductive rights
discussion in this election. But did you know that it was integral to the Roe
v. Wade case?
Long story short, Norma L. McCorvey (aka ‘Roe’) was pregnant
with her third child, and wanted an abortion. Since Texas only allowed for
abortion in cases of rape or incest, she claimed to have been raped – but since
there was no police report, her case was denied. She then tried to obtain an
illegal abortion, but found police had shut down the facility.
She filed suit against the state of Texas (represented by
Dallas County DA Henry Wade), and the case made its way to the Supreme Court.
‘Roe’ later admitted she had only claimed to have been raped in order to obtain
a legal abortion, but this had no impact on the legal bases for the case – the
right to personal liberty under the Fourteenth Amendment, and Ninth Amendment’s
granting of rights to the people, even when not explicitly enumerated. The
Supreme Court ruled that a woman’s right to choose was covered by one or both
of those amendments up until fetal viability, which it eventually set between
24 & 28 weeks.
McCorvey gave birth before the case was settled.
Here’s what I learned; any law that restricts abortion to
cases of rape is in direct violation of Roe v. Wade. You can bet politicians
know that, and are trying to pass those laws on the state level in order to get
a case before the Supreme Court that will allow them to overturn Roe.
I intend to deny them that chance with my vote. Join me.
Ooooh I can’t wait for tomorrow!