Roe and Doe Testify at Senate
by Annie Banno
Click for the
testimonies by McCorvey and Sandra Coe
(60+ pages of devastating *.pdf file).
Click here: Purposeful Dreamer
Thursday, June 23, 2005
"Sounds like fraud upon the Court"
[pls. comment back at original post, linked above, thanks]
The Associated Press story that is out as of
10:13 PM tonight but I can't find yet online, will probably not have that as a
headline, or even a direct quote.
UDPATE: I'm posting this as I write it...Here are
AP (link broken) AND
I may have the above as a paraphrase--I think all of what I put in quotes here
will be paraphrased--but that is the essence of one of Senator Sessions'
remarks upon hearing the testimony of Norma McCorvey and of Sandra Cano today,
June 23, 2005, in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Constitution,
Civil Right and Property Rights, examining the consequences of Roe v. Wade and
Doe v. Bolton.
The Associated Press story was handed to our counterparts in D.C. tonight,
while on the teleconference call, by none other than Senator Sam Brownback
(Kansas) himself, who walked in to wherever the Justice Foundation people
happened to be at 10 PM ET while we were all on the call from around the
About 50 of us thanked and blessed Senator Brownback and welcomed him to our
concall, who graciously responded with his thanks for bringing the truth to
light in this forum, saying, "We need to be in a spirit of thanksgiving for
what has happened today, but we have a long way to go too. Thank you for
exposing the lie that abortion doesn't harm women too. We just need to keep
showing that, so we can all start dealing with that eventually."
The hearing room had been packed with 200-300 people, SRO, with every staff
member's allotted seat taken. Not many Senators showed up unfortunately;
Brownback of course was there the entire time, as was Senator Feingold of
Wisconsin, the ranking Democrat and opposing viewpoint. Senator Jeff Sessions
from Alabama was there, and very supportive of Norma and Sandra.
Senator Ted Kennedy wasn't; he reportedly was in an Armed Forced committee
The Operation Outcry and other pro-life folks occupied all the front rows, and
there were at least 35 young pro-life kids there too. There were a few
pro-choice people, but they couldn't get too many in; having come later, they
had to settle for being put on a waiting list.
The choice of panelists was made equally by Brownback and Feingold. The
constitutional law attorneys arguing that Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton were
constitutionally unsound decisions were Teresa Collett, Esq., Professor of
Law, University of St. Thomas Law School, Minneapolis, MN and M. Edward
Whelan, Esq., President, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, DC.
Those arguing that they were "sound law" were R. Alta Charo, Esq., Professor
of Law and Bioethics, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development,
University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, WI, and Karen O'Connor, Esq.,
Professor of Government, American University, Washington, DC.
Sandra Cano spoke first (Doe), then Norma McCorvey (Roe) second. Dr. Ken
Edelin, Associate Dean, Boston University of Medicine, Boston, MA, spoke
third; he is an abortion doctor who once was convicted of manslaughter for
aborting a baby, finding that it was indeed moving after the abortion (though
it hadn't taken a breath yet), and strangling it so that it did die.
Apparently he was freed on a technicality. I'm still researching this to find
a source to verify, but this was relayed to us by the lawyers at the Justice
Foundation and by Senator Brownback.
Dr. Edelin, of course, was pro-choice. However, he apparently contradicted
himself in his testimony. He said words to the effect that "from the moment of
fertilization, it's living biologically but it's not a life," at which point
Brownback questioned him as to the oxymoronic nature of what he had said.
Norma's former work experience inside abortion clinics was articulated very
explicitly for the Senators and staff aides. Her personal experience "on the
inside" was as moving as the reality that she was misrepresented by her
attorneys in the Roe case.
Both Norma and Sandra had been misrepresented and lied to by their attorneys
in those original, respective cases. And now, their testimony is all part of
the Congressional Record of the United States. As are also those 1,000+
affidavits we all completed and notarized, even mine. All that testimony is
now on the Congressional Record for the first time. Mind-blowing.
This is also the first time that both women have testified together before
Congress. And apparently, it won't be the last.
This is the first in a series of hearings that highlight the effect of these
two Supreme Court decisions on American life and government. That much I
remember was in the AP report Brownback read to us over the phone.
C-SPAN apparently taped it, don't know if or when it'll run, and it was
playing live on the web as well as in the Senator's offices on closed circuit.
Many sent staff members to witness the hearing personally, while others sent
staff down just after to give words of encouragement and congratulations to
Sandra and Norma, having watched their testimony from their offices. Even an
aide to Brownback, over here from the British Parliament, said to Norma and
Sandra, "We need to get ladies to come over to the U.K. to do this! To talk to
In a week, apparently, the transcripts can be available to the public, and
hopefully we can post a link to them once they're on the Senate's website. It
would be a good time--for those interested in doing so--to
contact our Senators and tell them
we're glad this hearing took place.
Apparently there are plans for similar hearings in the House, and more than
that I can't say.
Senator Mike DeWine of Ohio made at least one supportive statement toward
Sandra and Norma for their testimony. Other Senators drifted in and out,
At one point, Norma asked all those there to support her to stand, from
Operation Outcry. There were several post-abortive women who regret, all at
least being silently recognized by the Committee. It must have been quite
No Senator asked any really tough, argumentative questions of Sandra or Norma.
But then again, they were hearing the full dirt, the nasty truth, in its
entirety, and probably all questions were answered that way.
What they were hearing was appalling, when you really stop to think of it.
before making up your mind on whether or not I'm exaggerating.
Both Norma and Sandra spoke out more boldly than anyone had heard them before,
and those folks have been hearing them speak publicly for five years. Norma
told the Senators that the answer to the problem of abortion is "love,
compassion and forgiveness. And even God will forgive you, Senators, for ever
If you knew Norma, you'd know this wasn't a Bible-thumping, self-righteous,
condemning thing she said, but a humble, simple, honest prayer from her heart.
Sessions also remarked that "I've heard these ladies before, known about their
wanting to change what was done in their names and without their permission,
but to have them here before us, is remarkable. It sounds like fraud was done
on the [Supreme] Court. We need to look into this."
Quite thoughtfully, Brownback said words to the effect that "we have to decide
what is a human life and when are we going to protect it." He wasn't
soapboxing or stumping, he was just quietly making known his reactions to the
two women's testimonies. Brownback spoke of the abortionist's testimony, which
cited a regular litany of horrors of pre-Roe botched abortions and the babies
ending up in dumpsters, and remarked, "It is just as tragic to abort and have
those babies actually end up in dumpsters anyway."
It was to that remark that Senator Feingold of Wisconsin was allowed a chance
to rebut, but it seems he either said nothing or nothing specific in reply.
Some of our organization were in fact fearful of hurtful confrontation aimed
at Norma and Sandra, and it never came to pass. They'd even advised her at
first to tell the short-form of her story, but she ended up telling them the
entire unabridged, gory-detail version. You need stomach to read that whole
So it was considered a blessing by all present that Norma and Sandra were able
to get their entire story out before Congress without a lot of conflict aimed
But then again, Ted Kennedy wasn't there.
Seriously, it was clear to all listening that what happened to Sandra and
Norma at the hands of their original lawyers was tantamount to identity theft.
Even the AP story begins--uncharacteristically--strongly telling it like it
"The women behind the Supreme Court cases that led to
legalized abortion told a Senate panel Thursday they never intended to help
the abortion rights movement and claimed they were duped by lawyers
representing them more than three decades ago."
All I can say is, please, listen, America. Let's
fill the gap with compassionate, free services like the CPCs already give,
times a hundred or thousand-fold. Let's not fill that gap with more aborted
souls, women included. If we took the several hundred million taxpayer dollars
that the abortion industry gets and used it instead to truly help women in
crisis pregnancies to either avoid parenthood (by helping those children be
adopted by a loving couple) or to survive parenthood (with a place to live,
job training, food, clothing, healthcare, etc.), I believe we could eliminate
this "need" for abortion. We're not stupid enough to think that eliminating
abortion legally eliminates these very real problems, ones we may even have
So, what is the next step? Sandra asked the Senators to "do whatever you can
do," whether that's a constitutional amendment or more legal hearings, but we
know we will see the latter at least, over time.
More later, if there are more reports and commentaries available and of
course, once the transcripts are available...stay tuned...
Click for the
testimonies by McCorvey and Sandra Coe
(60+ pages of devastating *.pdf file).
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