Saturday, September 30, 2006

Sandra "Jane Doe" Cano asks SCOTUS to reverse decision

Plaintiff in Doe v. Bolton case says ACLU attorney pushed her to have abortion
The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to reconsider next week its landmark 1973 Doe vs. Bolton abortion decision, in response to a lawsuit brought by the case's original plaintiff, who claims she was pressured by ACLU attorneys to opt for abortion and that the case was based on fraud.

Like Norma McCorvey, the original "Jane Roe" of Roe v. Wade, Sandra Cano was "Mary Doe" of 1973's other historic abortion decision. Together, "Roe" and "Doe" eliminated all state laws prohibiting abortion and legalized abortion. Cano's case in particular – because of the "health exception" for the mother it created – opened the door to abortion on demand, for virtually any reason, at any stage of pregnancy up to the moment of birth.

In a nutshell, the court defined "health" to include social, family, and financial concerns. It was so loosely worded that "I don't want to risk going into labor and missing my son's Little League playoffs" would pass Constitutional muster for a third-trimester abortion. (Please note I'm not claiming that anybody's had a 3rd tri abortion for that reason! I'm just pointing out that the court defined "health" so broadly that if the woman can give a reason at all, it would suffice.) Though PP v. Casey freed the states to place some restrictions on third-trimester abortions, their performance is limited mostly by the willingness of the doctors to perform them.

I tried to find some prochoice site that has a chart of what states allow post-viability abortions and for what reasons, but to no avail. And I wonder how much the laws matter anyway, since Kansas has a ban on post-viability abortions on the books except for "life and health" exceptions, but Tiller just has another abortionist come into his building and, for a fee, give every patient a written statement that she needs the abortion. It's just a rubber-stamp thing. So how much teeth other laws have probably varies as well.
In her affidavit to the U.S. District Court in New Jersey, reports Insight, Cano claims the case originated when she approached a legal aid office in Atlanta to help her divorce her abusive husband and regain custody of her three children. However, says the report, Cano says she was taken advantage of by an "aggressive self-serving attorney, Margie Pitts Hames, the legal-aid attorney."

Cano, pregnant at the time, also says she never actually signed an affidavit saying she didn't want or couldn't care for another child. The affidavit even warned Cano might commit suicide.

"I am 99 percent certain that I did not sign this affidavit," she said, according to the Insight report. "I do not believe it is my signature on the affidavit, and Margie either forged my signature or slipped this document in with other papers while I was signing divorce papers. I never told Margie that I wanted an abortion. The facts stated in the affidavit in Doe v. Bolton are not true."

Cano is opposed to abortion and is outraged that her case and her name are being used to get away with terrible bloodshed.

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