The Roe and Doe “Twins” The rarely discussed “Double Abortion Whammy”

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By Larry Peterson

We have all heard of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that, to date, has LEGALLY allowed for the termination of more than 60,000,000 children in utero. But many of us are not aware that on the very same day that decision was handed down, the very same court by the very same vote also handed down a decision called Doe vs. Bolton.

The Doe vs. Bolton ruling created the proverbial “double whammy” to the abortion issue. If Roe vs. Wade ever failed or was overturned, Doe vs. Bolton could immediately take its place. In fact, it would not only take its place, it legalizes abortion up to and including a full-term pregnancy. This should be a cause of significant concern to all those who respect life but rarely is this decision ever mentioned. The fact of the matter is, on January 22, 1973, the US Supreme Court had given birth to the “Roe & Doe” twins.

The ruling in the Doe vs. Bolton case is summed up here:  : (The link supplies the details:

  • The Court’s opinion in Doe vs. Bolton stated that a woman may obtain an abortion after viability, if necessary, to protect her health. The Court defined “health,” as follows:

“Whether in the words of the Georgia statute, “an abortion is necessary” is a professional judgment that the Georgia physician will be called upon to make routinely. We agree with the District Court, 319 F. Supp., at 1058, that the medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors-physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age-relevant to the well being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.”

Incredible as it is, if Roe vs. Wade was ever overturned, Doe vs. Bolton would take its place. Doe vs. Bolton allows for abortion “after viability” for almost any conceivable reason. According to Doe vs. Bolton, an abortion could be permitted at full term because the baby’s crying when born might cause too much stress for someone in the house who has a psychological problem. Far fetched? Not really. Just get a doctor to sign off on it.

Ironically, the pseudonym “Mary Doe” was used by her attorney to protect her identity. The attorney general of Georgia at  the time was  Arthur Bolton so the case became known as “Doe vs. Bolton.” The name of the plaintiff was actually Sandra Cano who, years later, claimed to be pro-life and sued because she claimed she never knew her attorney had used her as the anonymous plaintiff in the case. The case eventually returned to the Supreme Court where her claim was rejected. Sandra Cano passed away in  2014.

Five years after Roe vs.Wade and Doe vs. Bolton were approved by SCOTUS, my wife gave birth to a daughter. She was born prematurely at 24 weeks (six months). She was born alive and fully formed but just needed more time to develop. She was baptized and given the name Theresa Mary. There was never a positive reason given as to why she was premature. The closest explanation we received was, “Sometimes things happen that we do not understand.” The bottom line to that is she was a real person who lived and died.  She is buried with my parents, and her name is on a tombstone. It simply reads;  Theresa Mary Peterson. September 6, 1978—September 6,1978.

Having had the experience and burying our pre-mature child heightened the sadness and dismay, both of us felt toward abortion. The blindness, the disregard, and the callousness that is shown by so many to the most vulnerable of all the living are beyond understanding. How many future doctors, scientists, carpenters, artists, priests, firemen, police officers, letter-carriers, and so forth had never lived to see the light of day, eradicated before their very first breath was inhaled?

God help us today and tomorrow.

Copyright©Larry Peterson 2020

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