NRL News

Pro-choice lawyer who drafted brief in Roe: “Abortion should eliminate the poor”

by | Jan 18, 2016

By Sarah Terzo

Ron Weddington

Ron Weddington

Ron Weddington, one of the attorneys who drafted the brief for abortion rights in Roe v. Wade, wrote a private letter to President-elect Bill Clinton arguing for the state to use abortion as population control. This letter was written in 1992:

“[Y]ou can start immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of our country. No, I’m not advocating some sort of mass extinction of these unfortunate people. Crime, drugs and disease are already doing that. The problem is that their numbers are not only replaced but increased by the birth of millions of babies to people who can’t afford to have babies. In 1989, 27% of all births were to unmarried mothers, a huge percentage of whom were teenagers. If current trends continue, soon a majority of the babies born will be born into poverty and one half of the country cannot support the other half, no matter how good our intentions. I am not proposing that you send federal agents armed with Depo-Provera dart guns to the ghetto. You should use persuasion rather than coercion. You and Hillary are a perfect example. Could either of you have gone to law school and achieved anything close to what you have if you had three or four more children before you were 20? No! You waited until you were established in your 30s to have one child. That is what sensible people do.… It’s time to officially recognize that people are going to have sex and what we need to do as a nation is prevent as much disease and as many poor babies as possible. Condoms alone won’t do it. Depo-Provera, Norplant and the new birth control injection being developed in India are not a complete answer… No, government is going to have to provide vasectomies, tubal ligations and abortions… RU-486 and conventional abortions. Even if we make birth control as ubiquitous as sneakers and junk food, there will still be unplanned pregnancies. There have been about 30 million abortions in this country since Roe v. Wade. Think of all the poverty, crime and misery… And then add 30 million unwanted babies to the scenario.”

Ron Weddington is the husband of Sarah Weddington, one of the two lawyers who argued for abortion in Roe v. Wade.

Quoted in Taylor Carmichael, “The Seen and the Unseen: Abortion and the Supreme Court” (Amazon Digital Services, 2014).

Editor’s note. This appeared at and is reprinted with permission.

Categories: Abortion