After Roe V Wade, Supreme Court Justice denies the law creates “abortion on demand”

Supreme Court Justice Warren Berger voted in favor of legalizing abortion in Roe V Wade. On the day of the ruling, the dissenting Justices claimed that striking down restrictions on abortion would lead to women having abortions in abortion clinics across the nation from an abortion industry that would spring up. Women, they said, would decide to have abortions on their own, without discussing the matter with their doctors, and then go get them. The dissenting Justices called this “abortion on demand” – meaning a woman could have an abortion on request simply because she wanted it done.  Abortions, the dissenters thought, would be common.  Berger, in contrast, believed after Roe abortions would be extremely rare and would only be done for serious health reasons, when doctors thought they were needed.

On the day of the Roe V Wade decision, Berger wrote:

“I do not read the Court’s holding today as having the sweeping consequences  attributed to them by the dissenting Justices; the dissenting views discount the reality that the vast majority of physicians observe the standards of their profession, and act only on the basis of carefully deliberated medical judgments relating to life and health. Plainly the Court today rejects any claim that the Constitution requires abortion on demand.”

Doe vs. Bolton, 410 US 179 at 208

Quoted in: Curt Young The Least of These: What Everyone Should Know about Abortion (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1984)

Obviously, Berger turned out to be wrong – over a million abortions were soon taking place every year as women chose to have them for any reason they wanted. Doctors set up abortion facilities across the country, doing any abortion a woman requested as long as they were paid.  Berger later admitted he had been wrong in his prediction.

Share on Facebook

Author: Sarah

Sarah is a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

eight + two =