Uniting for Life
Missouri Abortion Law Upheld
By U.S. Supreme Court
Washington DC (July 3) - The US Supreme Court ruled by a
vote of 5 to 4 to let stand a 1986 Missouri law which restricts
the state's involvement in abortion.
The decision was mixed, with three justices Rehnquist, White,
and Kennedy, joining in one opinion while O'Connor and Scalia
entered separate opinions.
Justice Antonin Scalia declared that Webster would be the
proper case for reconsideration of Roe v. Wade and urged explicit
reversal now. "To [not overrule Roe now] is to needlessly
prolong this Court's involvement in a field where answers
to the central questions are political rather than judicial,
and thus make the Court the object of the sort of organized
pressure that political institutions ought to receive."
Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justices Anthony Kennedy
and Byron White joined in an opinion which attacked the trimester
framework saying that the states should be able to provide
greater protection for the unborn child. They indicated that
this decision will undoubtedly allow more government regulation
of abortion than was permissible before.
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor supported upholding the Missouri
Statute; however she indicated that this case could be decided
on its own merits and did not require reconsidering Roe v.
Wade at this time. "When the constitutional invalidity of
a State's abortion status actually turns upon the constitutional
validity of Roe, there will be time enough to re-examine Roe,
and to do so carefully."
Louisa Rucker, Chairman of the National Pro-Life Religious
Council, stated, "This is a significant day for the pro-life
movement. The Webster decision has opened a door to a legislative
process which we hope and pray will ultimately lead to restoration
of legal protection for the unborn child."
Provisions of Missouri Statute
Life Begins at Conception - The preamble states that "the
life of each human being begins at conception" and that "unborn
children have protectable interests in life, health, and well
Determination of Fetal Viability - That a physician prior
to performing an abortion on any woman whom he has reason
to believe is 20 or more weeks pregnant, must ascertain whether
the fetus is "viable" by performing "such medical tests as
are necessary to make a finding of [the fetus'] gestational
age, weight and lung maturity."
Bans Use of Public Employees and Facilities for Abortion
- Prohibits the use of public employees and facilities to
perform abortions not necessary to save a mother's life.
Prohibits Abortion Counseling - Makes it unlawful to use
public funds, employees, or facilities for the purpose of
"encouraging or counseling" a woman to have an abortion not
necessary to save her life.
Pro-Life Religious Groups
Join in Amicus Brief in Webster Case
Washington (February 24) - Eleven pro-life religious groups
joined in presenting an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court
supporting the constitutionality of the Missouri statute and
urging restoration of legal protection for the unborn child.
The brief, which was prepared by Walter Weber, staff attorney
for Free Speech Advocates, asked the Court to overturn its
1973 Roe v. Wade decision by recognizing the right to life
of the unborn child under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
"We hoped our brief would lay a foundation for a future ruling
by the Court recognizing the unborn child as a person with
Constitutional rights," Weber said, "The Court in the Webster
decision did not reaffirm the holding in Roe denying the right
to life of children conceived, but not yet born. We consider
this a victory."
Louisa Rucker, Chairman of the National Pro-Life Religious
Council said, "This brief demonstrates pro-life ecumenism
at its best. We are very pleased that groups representing
eleven different denominations were able to join together
and bear witness to the right to life of the unborn child."
"We are embarking on a new era in religious cooperation and
understanding - Catholic, Protestant, Mormon and Jew, we stand
together in our goal of ending the national tragedy of abortion
on demand and restoration of legal protection to the unborn
child," Rucker said.
A Virginia based attorney, Michael J. Woodruff, coordinated
the co-sponsorship of the eleven pro-life religious based
The Rev. Ed Feskins, Executive Director of Lutherans for
Life, said, "This brief helps dispel the myth promoted by
pro-abortion advocates that the pro-life cause is only championed
by the Catholic church and the Fundamentalists. Mainline Protestant
churches are very pro-life and we will be increasingly heard
on this issue."
Amicus Brief Cosigners:
- American Baptists Friends of Life
- Baptists for Life
- Catholics United for Life
- Christian Action Council
- Lutherans for Life
- Moravians for Life
- National Organization of Episcopalians for Life
- Presbyterians Pro-Life
- Southern Baptists for Life
- Task Force of United Methodists on Abortion and Sexuality
- United Church of Christ Friends for Life
Orthodox Rabbis Urge Reversal of Roe v. Wade (April
9) - Over 2000 Rabbis representing more than one million American
Jews called for the quick repeal of Roe v. Wade "which for
16 years has kept an entire category of innocent and defenseless
human beings outside the protection of the law."
TV "Movie" Criticized - The May 15th NBC TV movie
Roe v. Wade is being strongly criticized by pro-life
leaders because of its blatant pro-abortion propaganda. Pro-lifers
are asked to call the two major national program sponsors
Maxwell House Coffee (1-800-431-1004) and Alamo
Rent-A-Car (1-800-GO-ALAMO) to express concern over this
insensitive and misleading film.
"Mary Doe" of 1973 Doe v Bolton Case Featured at NRLC
Convention (June 29) - Sandra Cano (Mary Doe) shared a
deeply moving personal story of how pro-abortion lawyers manipulated
her into signing the complaint in Doe v. Bolton, the companion
case to Roe v. Wade.
Sandra, who attended the National Right to Life Convention
in person, presented her story via a taped interview with
Leslie Bond of NRL News.
Now reunited with the daughter she bore after refusing to
have the abortion requested in Doe v. Bolton, Sandra stated
that she is strongly pro-life and never wanted an abortion.
CBS Poll Indicates Pro-Life Support - A June 26-29
poll by CBS News showed 66% favored state laws which would
permit abortions only in case of life, rape and incest.
House Locksin Pro-Life Foreign Aid Policies -
Washington (July 7) - By a 229 to 163 vote the US House of
Representatives continued the current policies prohibiting
funding to organizations which promote abortions in foreign
November 10-12 - Lutherans for Life Convention (7th annual),
January 19-22, 1990 - National Organization of Episcopalians
for Life (NOEL) Convocation, Fairfax, VA.
April 28, 1990 - Rally for Life, Washington DC.