Chief Justice’s daughter Sally Blackmun speaks about Roe V Wade

Sally Blackmun, Supreme Court Associate Justice Harry Blackmun’s daughter, talks about why he found in favor of Roe V Wade:

“Sally Blackmun, an abortion-rights activist and daughter of Justice Harry Blackmun, who authored the Roe V Wade opinion, recounts how personal considerations entered into her father’s thinking on the matter. She recalls that he often discussed the broad issues involved in his cases with his family “around the dinner table,” and says that “he really struggled with Roe V Wade.” At one point, when the family was in the middle of a meal together, justice Blackmun asked Sally and her two sisters how they thought the case should be decided. They said that they favored the plaintiff. Appearing to take partial credit for the historic Supreme Court decision, Sally suggests that her father was certainly influenced by “his 3 daughters and an outspoken, independent wife.” And although Justice Blackmun’s written decision cites a right of privacy that he found in the 14th amendment to the Constitution, his daughter maintains that he also viewed Roe as “an opportunity to give women rights that will emancipate them.” Noting that her father had spent 9 years working as a general counsel for the Mayo Clinic, Sally Blackmun concludes that this period of his life “gave him the opportunity to see firsthand the aftereffects of botched illegal abortions.”

Sally Blackmun, introduction to Gloria Feldt, The War on Choice (New York: Random House, 2004), xix

Quoted in Anne Hendershott The Politics of Abortion (New York, New York: Encounter Books, 2006) 1-2

What would’ve happened if one of his daughters or his wife had been pro-life?

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Author: Sarah

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

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