NRL News

What’s Airing on Pro-Life Perspective Today: “Roe: More Than Its Author Intended?” Part 4

by | Jan 27, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun

As we near the end of the week that began with the somber commemoration of the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, National Right to Life President and Pro-Life Perspective Host Carol Tobias offers part four of a five-part series on an important  2005 article written by Los Angeles Times reporter David Savage. That insightful analysis was made possible when the Library of Congress released the papers of Justice Blackmun, the author of Roe v. Wade and its lethal companion case, Doe v. Bolton.

There’ve been many attempts to explain how Blackmun could produce a decision that gutted the abortion statutes of all 50 states, many of which were nearly one hundred years old. Savage concludes that Blackmun’s first draft was not as freewheeling, but that it was rejected by others on the High Court who wanted everything Blackmun would subsequent insist the final decision was NOT: abortion on demand.

Whether Blackmun was a sold-out proponent of unlimited abortion in the summer and fall of 1972, the opinions he produced in January 1973 ignited a firestorm of opposition that is unabated nearly four decades and more than 54 million dead babies later. Mrs. Tobias keenly observes, “Justice Blackman had more than one opportunity to change Roe and to change the course of abortion on demand.  But he didn’t.  He argued for Roe and seemed to enjoy the notoriety his opinion had given him.  If Justice Blackman did not intend for Roe to be so broad, he later did nothing to change it.”

On Friday Mrs. Tobias will conclude her week-long examination of Mr. Savage’s story, which you can read at

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Categories: Roe v. Wade