Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, January 19.

Sandra Cano: When I was pregnant—I call it my Supreme Court baby.

Alan Parker: There were national projects going on all across the country to assault the abortion laws through the courts.

Sandra: I didn’t have very much education. I didn’t even finish eighth grade.

Alan: They couldn’t get it popularly supported everywhere, so they were going to try to get the laws protecting life struck down in the court.

Sandra: My life was unstable, and I lived in poverty. I had unhappy marriages and made wrong decisions.

Alan: So it sounded like a good case to create a health exception.

Sandra: They told me, “You need to have an abortion.”

Alan: And get therapeutic abortions nationwide.

Sandra: They had legalized abortions.

Alan: They were looking for test cases.

Sandra: That’s against everything I believed in. I never believed in abortion.

Alan: That’s how they changed the law.

Leslie: This week we mark the anniversary of a historic court decision. Our guests have had a unique inside look at this event, and Nancy’s here to introduce them.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: For the last several years, I’ve been running into people here and there at different conventions and elsewhere who have said to me, “You have got to get acquainted with the work of The Justice Foundation. You would love what they’re doing. You would love their heart.”

I’ve met people; they’ve sent me emails and packages, and they’ve said, “This is a ministry you need to be familiar with.” Finally I have had the chance.

I’m in Dallas, Texas, attending an event. I’ve had the chance to connect with Alan Parker, who is the founder and director of The Justice Foundation, and to get to know some of their work, some of their ministry, and some of the people who are connected with this work.

It’s been a great privilege, and it’s a joy today to be in a makeshift studio here at Sheraton Hotel in Dallas with several of those who are involved in The Justice Foundation. Today we have with us on Revive Our Hearts Alan Parker and Sandra Cano.

Sandra, you flew in from Dallas, Georgia, and have just come here to Dallas, Texas. Thank you for getting off the plane, out of the traffic, and into this makeshift studio to talk with our listeners. Welcome to Revive Our Hearts.

Sandra: Thank you.

Nancy: And Alan Parker, also a new friend. I realized from the first moment we met that you’re a kindred spirit and lover of Christ and of His people. Thank you for your ministry with The Justice Foundation. We are really looking forward to hearing more about it.

Thank you for taking time out of a very busy schedule today to talk with our listeners at Revive Our Hearts.

Alan: Well, thank you. The Lord was the founder, and I was one of the founders that He used to found The Justice Foundation, so we’re founded on Jesus Christ.

Nancy: That’s what our ministry is as well and why we love your ministry.

Alan, tell us just in a paragraph, what is The Justice Foundation? What does it do?

I know that your background is that of a lawyer and a professor, and The Justice Foundation has as its mission something that is very important to our women listeners. Can you describe that mission for us?

Alan: Yes. We’re a non-profit, public interest litigation foundation. We’re founded on the Bible as our policy manual, which we’ve officially adopted, so we represent people at no charge in cases where they couldn’t otherwise get representation that supports the Judeo-Christian view of the law.

It’s one of the greatest honors of my life to represent both Norma McCorvey, who was “Roe” of Roe v. Wade, and Sandra Cano, who is with us today, who was “Doe” of Doe v. Bolton, the companion case to Roe v. Wade. So together, these two ladies were used by the justice system, as your listeners will hear, to bring abortion to America; but now, by God’s grace, both of them are working very hard to reverse their own cases that brought abortion to America.

Nancy: I’m sure that most of our listeners have heard of Roe v. Wade. January of 1973 (in the layman’s way of saying it) is when the Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand.

But Doe v. Bolton, Sandra, is a case that may not be familiar to many of our listeners. (Alan, you just said that was a companion case.)

You were the Doe in Doe v. Bolton. What, in essence, was that case, and why was this something that had such an important impact in our nation?

Sandra: As a result of this case, a woman could have a hangnail, and if they could say it was related to your pregnancy, you could terminate your pregnancy up to nine months. That’s where partial-birth abortion came from, out of Doe v. Bolton.

But what America does not know is that Doe v. Bolton was based on fraud, lies, and deceit—not on my part.

Nancy: Let me just jump in here to say that Mary Doe was the name used in this case to protect your actual identity.

Sandra: Yes.

Nancy: How did you end up involved in this case?

Sandra: Well, that is a mystery. The main thing is, I went to Atlanta Legal Aid, which is a law service in Atlanta for people who can’t afford an attorney.

I had two children in foster homes, and I wanted to get my children home. I wanted to get a divorce from my husband; I had a very bad marriage.

I went to Legal Aid, and the attorney said, “Yes, we’ll help you.” Then, I would say about two weeks later, she called me and said, “We’re going to help you, and I have another attorney working with me.”

I assumed this attorney worked for the Atlanta Legal Aid. She was going to represent me getting my children, but the other lawyer was going to get my divorce.

I was happy because I was getting what I went to them for, and I really didn’t question too much. But years later I found out that they pulled a fraud on me, because the lady that represented me turned out to be the one that pursued Doe v. Bolton that I wasn’t aware of at the time. She worked for the A.C.L.U.

Nancy: So, Alan, for those who are not familiar with all the history of this, what were the implications of them getting Sandra involved in what became a Doe v. Bolton case?

Alan: Well, it’s interesting. As Sandra said, her case created the health exception to Roe v. Wade.

Roe seemed to create a trimester framework and allow limited abortions—unlimited in the first trimester, a little bit more in the second, and protection for the child in the final trimester; but it said “See Doe v. Bolton,” and Doe v. Bolton was Sandra’s case.

Georgia already had a therapeutic abortion law. Three doctors could agree that a woman needed an abortion for her health and get one, but they wanted to strike down even that.

And the Supreme Court said, “No, you can’t ask three doctors”—which is what you would do if you were trying to get health care. Wouldn’t you get a second or third opinion?

Nancy: Right.

Alan: No, they struck that down and said it’s only between the woman and her doctor, and if the woman said, “I would be unhappy being a mother,” that affects her psychological health. For any reason that she chooses to give, she could get an abortion under the Doe v. Bolton case.

Nancy: So the bottom line of these two cases, I think, is something that most Americans are not aware of. In the case of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the Roe and the Doe were not women who were trying to get an abortion.

You were not trying to get an abortion?

Sandra: No. I’ve never believed in abortion, nor would I ever have one. I’ve never had one.

Alan: But I do want to say that Norma, on the other hand, did want an abortion and was seeking one. But, like Sandra, neither woman ever actually had one. The babies were placed for adoption before the court struck it down.

Nancy: Norma being Norma McCorvey of Roe v. Wade.

Alan: Yes. She wanted one; Sandra did not.

Nancy: When did you come to realize that you had been used in this way?

Sandra: In 1974 I went to Georgia Right to Life. They did some person-off-the-street trying to make a name or publicity. I knew nothing to tell them, other than I said, “I think I’m this person in this case.”

I went to different people. I wrote the Supreme Court, and everybody said, “You need an attorney.” Well, with no money and not really any knowledge, what do you do?

I first contacted Gayle White with Atlanta Journal. I said, “I think I’m this person.”

She said, “Well, you need to prove who you are.”

I said, “Well, what do I do?”

She said, “You go down to the court and you get your identity proven.”

So I went down to our courthouse, and I told them what I was looking for—I thought I was Jane Doe—I didn’t know about Norma. That’s how naive I was.

I kept looking on this little micro-fiche. It kept coming up Mary Doe, so I went and showed it to the lady, and I said, “I think I’m her. Can I have these records?”

She said, “They’re at the Federal Archives Building in Eastpointe.”

I said okay. She gave me the address, and I went down there.

I said, “Can I see the records?” When I did, it was a humongous book. It had scribbling, big words, stuff I didn’t even understand, and it had an envelope.

I started to open that envelope, and the lady stopped me. She said, “You could go to jail; that’s sealed.”

I didn’t even understand what that meant. I’m thinking, “If I’m this person, that’s my envelope with my name. Why can’t I open it?”

So then she said, “You have to go back to the court.”

I went back to the court, and I told the lady, “I’m that person, but it’s sealed. I want to unseal the record.”

She told me, “Well, you have to file a paper from the judge where you can unseal it.”

I said, “How do I do it?”

She held up a paper, she covered the name of the party, and so forth. I sat down with the paper and pencil she gave me, and I filed that motion with the court. About a couple of weeks later, the judge called me. I guess that’s the first time they’d ever had that done.

He said, “You need an attorney.” I didn’t understand why I needed an attorney, because I didn’t realize what all was involved legally. I didn’t understand a lot of the stuff.

It took me years down the line to realize there was such deceit and fraud going on to take lives. They didn’t care who they used or what they had to do. I was used.

Nancy: Used for what purpose?

Sandra: I was used for the want of others so they could put a death warrant on the unborn.

Nancy: To further the abortion cause.

Sandra: Yes; and that’s not my desire.

Alan: I might just say, legally, how could all that happen? I know some of your listeners might be saying, “How could that happen?!”

It’s an amazing story. We’ve checked it out. It’s all accurate and true.

Because the system is designed to protect the privacy of the woman, and Roe and Doe were based on privacy, a false name, Mary Doe, was used, and her identity was not even revealed to the State of Georgia defending the law.

There was no discovery. Her deposition wasn’t taken. The State did not know who she was, and in the oral argument at the Supreme Court, one of the justices even said, “Well, how do we know she’s even a real person?”

Somebody else said, “It doesn’t matter.” I know that’s bothered Sandra ever since then.

Nancy: Because it does matter to you.

Sandra: Yes, because I am real! I’m sitting here; and it does matter a lot, because how dare they put my name on something I’m against and take babies’ lives?

I’ve never believed in that, and I have no say. They know my true feelings. I’ve written courts, and I guess I’ve made a silly fool of myself with them, because I’ve still tried.

Alan: At one point in the case—you were pregnant, at the time, with another child.

Sandra: Yes.

Alan: And there may have been some feeling that perhaps you couldn’t take care of a child or something. At one point I think they told you you were going to get an abortion. What happened then?

Sandra: Well, I was almost forced to have one. Granted, I didn’t need a child. My life was unstable, and I lived in poverty. I had unhappy marriages and made wrong decisions.

I didn’t have any family support, and the last thing I needed was another child to come into this world to suffer in those circumstances. But God did give me the life of that child, and it’s not my right to say, “I’m going to take that child’s life because it’s not a convenience,” or whatever.

I think any mother hurts when you’re going to have a child and you can’t do in the right way that you want to do. But when you’re in a circumstance like I was, it was survival. It was trying to survive, and when you don’t have guidance and leadership . . .

I didn’t have that with my mom, so when I was pregnant—I call it my Supreme Court baby. Margie, who was the attorney at the time, said, “You need to have an abortion.”

Of course my mom, who meant well, said, “You’re going to have an abortion.”

I said, “No. I’m not going to have an abortion.” So I went to Georgia Baptist Hospital; Dr. Donald Blot was the doctor. I went in to have the baby, and they were going to come in there and do an abortion. I said, “No. I’m not going to have an abortion.”

It wound up, I ran away to keep from having the abortion. When I came back, he delivered my baby that I was supposed to abort, and I gave her up for adoption.

Alan: One of the things this story shows me is one of the lies of abortion: It’s supposed to be a woman’s choice. That's probably the most common mantra that we hear. But here other people were trying to force Sandra to have an abortion, to solve, perhaps, what they thought was a problem in their lives.

Nancy: No choice involved in that.

Alan: No choice for her whatsoever. She was used by the legal system because she was poor and somewhat uneducated. As Sandra has said, she didn’t finish the eighth grade. She didn’t know what all these documents were that she was being asked to sign. She’d had a hard life, so it sounded like a good case, to create a health exception and get therapeutic abortions nationwide.

Sandra: A lot of people have asked me why they chose me to be the plaintiff in this case. Well, I met all of the circumstances: I was poor; I had children; I had a very unstable marriage, and they really thought I was so naive.

They never thought that I would go before them one day and stand up and tell them, “You’ve done a lie here. This is wrong!” They never thought I would stand up and fight back.

I guess that’s the first time I’ve taken a stand. They weren’t going to involve me, but a lot of people that look sort of strange . . . It’s hard to believe that somebody would be so naive that somebody could use you, but I was what they were looking for—no questions asked, so they got what they wanted without my knowledge.

Nancy: At what point did you say, “I’ve been used. I didn’t want an abortion. I didn’t have an abortion, and yet I was, without my knowledge or approval, the woman in the test case that made abortion legal, and I’m not going to let this go by. I’m going to stand up and do something about this”?

Sandra: Well, what made me sick was, in 1973 when this case came down, I was in the house—my mom, my step-father, and my sister Barbara (who is with me today) and myself. My mom and step-dad were really excited. “You won! You won! You won!”

And I’m thinking, “What have I won?”

“They have legalized abortion!”

Even then I didn’t listen closely. I was thinking, “This weight was on me.” It was like a ton of bricks was on me.

It took a long time down the road to where I found out Norma McCorvey was Roe, and then they used me of Doe v. Bolton. I just started seeking—just trying to do what I could do.

Like Mr. Parker said, I didn’t have very much education, didn’t even finish the eighth grade, and I was just at the mercy of the world. I learned what I learned from living life’s knocks. I didn’t have somebody to teach me.

My mom married real young, so I had to learn what I learned on my own, and a lot of things from bad judgment. One thing God blessed me with is that I never (and I don’t think I would have survived if I would have) took my baby’s life.

Alan: Nancy, she said how in 1974 she went to Georgia Right to Life, but it had just happened, and they really didn’t know who Sandra was. Her identity had been sealed by the court, so she didn’t get any help there, though you perhaps can’t really fault them for that.

Then it was in 1988 when Operation Rescue came to Atlanta. Sandra saw people being arrested for the issue. I think that sort of stirred you to move into action at that point, didn’t it?

Sandra: I got upset, because I was thinking, “I’m the guilty party here,” even though I wasn’t as far as my being, but it was my name. I saw Operation Rescue. I saw the people lying down in the street, saw them beat and picked up, and I just thought, “What kind of person am I? Here I am, the guilty party, and yet these people are putting their whole lives . . . going to jail, they’re locking them up.”

So the next best thing I could do—I wasn’t ready to come out and show the world; I just had to slowly walk forward. A friend and I took signs, poster boards, and put them all over my little, old, gray Buick, and we put, “Don’t kill babies. It’s murder.”

They were having rescues downtown, and we just rode around and around. They never knew that was me. I didn’t let people know, but that gave me the first bit of courage. That was the first time I spoke out, “Hey, you can’t do this.”

After that I kept calling people and talking. Of course, people don’t really take you seriously if you have no information to give them.

I knew none. I just knew I was a part of abortion. I didn’t know to what extent, other than I thought I was the whole person that did it.

Alan: Another interesting fact is, she first started going to the state court, thinking that’s where her case had been filed. She didn’t know anything about there being a state system and a federal system.

It took her a long time to exhaust the resources there, and for them to finally say, “We don’t have any Mary Doe here. Maybe you should go to the federal court.”

Then she’s told that story about asking the clerks, “How do I find my name?” She was given this huge stack of legal documents, by some of the best lawyers in the country working for the abortion side at the time.

There were national projects going on all across the country to assault the abortion laws through the courts. They couldn’t get it popularly supported everywhere, so they were going to try to get the laws protecting lives struck down in the courts.

So when groups like that saw Norma and Sandra, they were looking for test cases, and that’s how they changed the law.

Operation Rescue was also very instrumental in Norma’s story. They moved right next door to the abortion clinic where Norma McCorvey was living.

She was a "hell-cat" at the time. She was not a Christian. She spat at them and cursed them. They loved her, and a little girl invited Norma to church, where she gave her life to Jesus Christ and became a Christian.

Her conscience had actually been bothering her in the clinics. She, like many people, didn’t know what abortion was.

They didn’t tell her what abortion really was when she did it, but when she saw the baby parts in the abortion clinics, her conscience bothered her. She gave her life to Christ, and she immediately got out of abortion.

Operation Rescue really had an impact on both of our clients’ lives. Then how did we get involved?

It started about 1998. Women who had been hurt by abortion started contacting The Justice Foundation.

We did parental rights work before this. Abortion is the termination of the mother/child relationship without due process of law, so we started having a women’s health protection task force to work on abortion facility regulations.

Then about the year 2000, I was contacted by a lawyer who represented a little 16-year-old girl who had been forced by her parents to have an abortion. In fact, her dad punched her in the stomach because he took her to one abortion clinic, and she told the doctor she thought abortion was murder, and that abortionist did not do the abortion.

Her dad took her home and punched her in the stomach to try to cause a miscarriage. That did not work, so he took her out of state, and another abortionist didn’t ask the girl anything. He just did the abortion on the parents’ consent.

So, again, it wasn’t the woman’s choice. It was the parents’ choice who didn’t want the embarrassment and perhaps the responsibility of having a pregnant daughter.

I met Norma McCorvey at the March for Life in the year 2000. On the way back, when I was in Dallas, Texas, the idea hit me that Norma and Sandra could reopen their own cases if there was evidence. The Supreme Court can change its mind.

Roe v. Wade is just an opinion of the Supreme Court. There’s nothing in the Constitution that says you have the right to an abortion. In fact, the Constitution says you have a right to life.

But if you’re going to go to court, you have to have evidence, and I knew there were two great lies about abortion:

1) It’s not a baby.
2) It’s somehow good for women.

The pro-life movement had been showing the court it’s a baby, and we’ve now got ultrasound as even more proof. America knows it’s a baby.

But the greater lie sometimes is that the court thinks, “Well, maybe it’s necessary that we have this hard thing to help women in some hard cases.”

That’s kind of the big lie. I said, “How do you overcome that?”

The only way to overcome that is if women who have had abortions will tell the court, “What you thought was helping me instead opens up a doorway to pain and suffering in my life. I try to stuff it. I try to deny it. It won’t go away. It produces anger, bitterness, promiscuity.”

All these things that we now know, but I didn’t even know then. I just knew it couldn’t be good for a woman to take the life of her own child, and we began to think about it.

Then I kept praying to God, “Lord, is this from You?” because nobody could break through the stronghold of abortion. I kept praying.

Then, on February 11 of the year 2000, Sandra called us, and she said, “Would you represent me?” I told her we had this theory that we would gather evidence of women who have had abortions and go back to the Supreme Court, and she said, “That’s what I live for, to try to overturn it.”

Nancy: So you saw this as an opportunity to perhaps see this thing turned around?

Sandra: Yes; and may I say, they’ve worked, and they’ve not stopped. They’re still thinking; they’re still trying. So this is what it’s about. We can’t give up.

Leslie: That’s Sandra Cano, who had an inside look at the movement to legalize abortion. She now spends her time on behalf of the unborn.

She and Alan Parker from The Justice Foundation have been talking with Nancy Leigh DeMoss about some of the background to Roe v. Wade, the court decision that effectively legalized abortion. We’re remembering that decision this week with some moving stories that will help you become more knowledgeable on this issue.

We’d like to send you a copy of these stories when you make a donation of any amount to Revive Our Hearts. Maybe you know someone who would get a lot out of hearing these interviews. This would be a great opportunity to pass this CD along to them.

Call with your donation at 800-569-5959, or donate online at ReviveOurHeartsRadio.com.

Sandra Cano and Alan Parker will be back tomorrow to describe the effects of abortion on women and the healing that’s available. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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