One year after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision, Justice Harry Blackmun told the Washington Post that the ruling would be regarded “as one of the worst mistakes in the court’s history, or one of its great decisions, a turning point.” After five decades of bitter political controversy, it is clear that Justice Blackmun was right. And that’s why, in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case pending before them, many predict that the high Court will overturn Roe and the abortion issue will be returned to the states for the first time in 49 years.
But how did we get here? How did almost 50 years of bad jurisprudence lead us to this point? Unsurprisingly, the pro-abortion movement in the United States began with a vote at a feminist convention. But the details of that convention may surprise you. The errors that led up to – and later became embedded within – Roe v. Wade began with a man convincing a woman that women needed abortion. Betty Friedan (who essentially launched the modern feminist movement in 1963 with her book The Feminine Mystique) was convinced by fellow magazine writer Lawrence Lader (a co-founder of what’s now called NARAL Pro-Choice America) that abortion laws needed to be overturned for women to be “emancipated” and “equal.”
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