Uniting for Life
Missouri Abortion Law Upheld
By U.S. Supreme Court
Pro-Life Religious Groups Join In
Amicus Brief in Webster Case
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
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 being."
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
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
"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 groups.
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
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
"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 Locks in 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), Omaha NE.
January 19-22, 1990 - National Organization of Episcopalians for Life (NOEL)
Convocation, Fairfax, VA.
April 28, 1990 - Rally for Life, Washington DC.