(CNSNews.com) - The bitter cold in the nation's capital Tuesday did not deter a pro-life activist whose landmark court case led to the legalization of abortion in the United States 32 years ago.
Standing outside the U.S. Supreme Court, 57-year-old Norma McCorvey was accompanied by about 35 people -- some with personal experiences with abortion, and others who are lawyers backing McCorvey's request for the high court to reverse Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that made abortion legal.
McCorvey was identified as "Jane Roe" in that controversial case, but for the last decade has charged that she was deceived and manipulated by abortion proponents who needed a test case to challenge the prevailing law at the time. Despite the fact that her case ended up serving as the legal justification for abortion, McCorvey did not abort her own child.
"America is slowly dying of a holocaust of abortion that began with Roe vs. Wade," McCorvey said Tuesday. She said her experience working in abortion clinics in the 1990s and her conversion to Christianity in 1995 made her regret the part she played in making abortion legal.
"I began to see the abuse of abortion," McCorvey said. "I saw women crying." Saturday, Jan. 22 will mark the 32nd anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision and McCorvey said she believes the intervening years have proved that abortion hurts women.
The Texas-based law firm, The Justice Foundation, filed for a writ of certiorari last week, a formal request for the Supreme Court to review and reverse its original decision. The writ was delivered to the court Tuesday.
Justice Foundation President Allan Parker said Rule 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows an original party to request that a case be reversed if that person believes the ruling is no longer just.
The group has filed similar motions with lower courts twice. The Jan. 17, 2003 motion in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas was denied two days after it was filed. An appeal filed with the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October 2003 was also dismissed.
Judge Edith Jones of the Fifth Circuit Court, however, wrote that "if courts were to delve into the facts underlying Roe's balancing scheme with present-day knowledge, they might conclude that the woman's 'choice' is far more risky and less beneficial, and the child's sentience (capacity to feel) far more advanced, than the Roe Court knew."
"In 1973 the court did not know what the effect of abortion would be on women," Parker said. "It was opening a doorway of pain and suffering to their lives."
Parker said his team has more than 1,000 witnesses for its case -- women who have been emotionally and physically damaged by their legal abortions.
Several of the women, including Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., shared their stories with reporters and spectators. "My uncle once said, 'The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety,'" Alveda King said. "Don't just think about yourself, think about others."
Parker said his goal is not to have the court criminalize abortion, but to make it an issue for the individual states to decide. He added that if people hear the stories his witnesses tell, they will oppose abortion.
The Supreme Court could take several months to decide whether it will accept the writ of certiorari and consider reversing the decision.
Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who represented "Roe" in the original Supreme Court case, could not be reached for comment.
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