Have You Heard the Roe Vs Wade Recordings?

January 22, AD 2014 12 Comments


I post the audio and transcripts of the Roe vs Wade hearings every year during this week, the anniversary of the legalization of abortion in the United States for all nine months of pregnancy.

It is chilling to listen to the words spoken in courts 41 years ago. Mrs. Sarah Weddington, age 26 at the time, was the attorney for “Roe.” She is thought to be the youngest person to win a Supreme Court case.

Click the play button (tiny triangle), listen, and read along. The audio is preset to start at ~20:00 minutes into Mrs. Weddington’s arguments. The clip is only ~4 minutes. Her words from 23:30 – 24:30 are significant, the laughter haunting. You can read and listen to the whole arguments here. They are much longer.

Justice Harry A. Blackmun: But tell me why you didn’t discuss the Hippocratic Oath.

Mrs. Weddington: Okay.

I guess it was– okay, in part, because the Hippocratic Oath, we discuss basically the constitutional protection we felt the woman to have.

The Hippocratic Oath does not pertain to that.

Second, we discuss the fact that the state had not established a compelling state interest.

The Hippocratic Oath would not really pertain to that.

And then, we discuss the vagueness jurisdiction.

It seem to us that that, that the fact that the medical profession, at one time, had adopted the Hippocratic Oath does not weight upon the fundamental constitutional rights involved.

It is a guide for physicians, but the outstanding organizations of the medical profession have, in fact, adopted a position that says the doctor and the patient should be able to make the decision for themselves in this kind of situation.

Justice Harry A. Blackmun: Of course, it’s the only definitive statement of ethics in the medical profession.

I take it, from what you just said, that you’re—you didn’t even footnote it because it’s old.

That’s about really what you’re saying.

Mrs. Weddington: Well, I guess you…it is old, and not that it’s out of date, but it seemed to us that it was not pertinent to the argument we were making.

Justice Harry A. Blackmun: Let me ask another question.

Last June 29, this Court decided the capital punishment cases.

Mrs. Weddington: Yes, sir.

Justice Harry A. Blackmun: Do you feel that there is any inconsistency in the Court’s decision in those cases outlying the death penalty with respect to convicted murderers and rapists at one end of lifespan, and your position in this case at the other end of lifespan?

Mrs. Weddington: I think had there been established that the fetus was a person under the Fourteenth Amendment or under constitutional protection then there might be a differentiation.

In this case, there has never been established that the fetus is a person or that it’s entitled to the Fourteenth Amendment rights or the protection of the constitution.

It would be inconsistent to decide that, after birth, various classifications of persons would be subject to the death penalty or not but, here, we have a person, the woman, entitled to fundamental constitutional rights as opposed to the fetus prior to birth where there is no establishment of any kind of federal constitutional rights.

Justice Harry A. Blackmun: Well, do I get from this then that your case depends primarily on the proposition that the fetus has no constitutional rights?

Mrs. Weddington: It depends on saying that the woman has a fundament constitutional right and that the state has not proved any compelling interest for regulation in the area.

Even if the Court, at some point, determined the fetus to be entitled to constitutional protection, you would still get back into the weighing of one life against another.

Justice Byron R. White: And that’s what’s involved in this case, weighing one life against another?

Mrs. Weddington: No, Your Honor.

I said that would be what would be involved if the facts were different and the state could prove that there was a person for the constitutional right.

Justice Potter Stewart: Well, if it were established that an unborn fetus is a person within the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment, you would have almost an impossible case here, would you not?

Mrs. Weddington: I would have a very difficult case. [Laughter]

Justice Potter Stewart: You certainly would because you’d have the same kind of thing you’d have to say that this would be the equivalent to after the child was born.

Mrs. Weddington: That’s right.

Justice Potter Stewart: If the mother thought that it bothered her health having the child around, she could have it killed.

Isn’t that correct?

Mrs. Weddington: That’s correct.

Chief Justice Warren E. Burger: Could Texas constitutionally…did you want to respond further to Justice Stewart?

Did you want to respond further to him?

Mrs. Weddington: No, Your Honor.

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  • VelikaBuna

    Mrs. Sarah Weddington is perfectly consistent in her views, and only highly qualified intellectuals could understand her and agree with her, someone like the ones on the Supreme Court. They didn’t get there for being uneducated and ignorant. They are the experts in the field. Who are we to question this decision by the qualified professionals? I could not even begin to understand the level of their knowledge, I am as far from a lawyer as the frog is from a donkey although experts tell us that the later may be closer than they appear to mere unqualified people?

  • jcapist

    I have never heard this and not sure I want to listen to it since becasue of this young lawyer 56 million babies have died. No laughing matter…… :*(

  • Nicholas Hardesty

    I went on to listen further, and after hearing Mr. Flowers for about 20min, I can’t help but think he was rather incompetent at outlining the compelling arguments for defending the rights of the unborn. Did anyone else get that impression? He seems to fumble around and not really know what he’s talking about.

    • I did. I got the impression that they were uncomfortable discussing this issue, whereas Mrs. Weddington, a woman in support of abortion, was not. She seemed to have the upper hand, if that’s the right phrase.

  • jcapist

    Stacy, LOVED the pictures of your home and family. I has always been a dream of ours to live in a home like that but at our age, that seems unlikely, making the pictures even more enjoyable! I just wonder how you found time to get yet another degree? We raised seven children and can not imagine how you did that. Kudos!! Christ’s peace and love to you all.

    • Thank you! It is true, we have fallen in love with this place. The peace and quiet and simple lifestyle allow all of us to the things we really want to do. God bless you!

  • Leaven for the Loaf

    Some things haven’t changed since ’73, besides the fact that acknowledging the personhood of the preborn child would smash Roe: a young woman with nerve can change the course of American history. In ’73, it was abortion advocate Weddington. Now, we’re in the age of Lila Rose and Abby Johnson. Stay tuned. Thank you for posting this transcript – it’s new to me, and it’s worth sharing,

  • Kevin Aldrich

    Utter, willful irrationality. A senseless and evil decision.

  • scragsma

    The saddest part of this discussion is that the Supreme Court had a perfect opportunity to ESTABLISH such a definition (of personhood under the 14th Amendment for the unborn) but they, in absolutely cowardly manner, took the road of dereliction and refused to even address the question. They, the Supreme Justices of the nation, hid behind the fact that NO OTHER COURT had made a ruling on the issue, and failed to make one themselves – and what lower court is now going to take on what the Supreme Court evaded? COWARDS, ALL!

  • Pingback: Reflections of a Paralytic » Audio: Roe v. Wade Oral Arguments()

  • Matt

    This information was freely available to you before you had YOUR abortion, Stacy. You made a choice. And if you plead ignorance and forgiveness; than every woman after you is ignorant and should receive forgiveness as well.

    Quit your indignant attitude. Catholicism is not your vehicle for judgement. You had an abortion. You killed your baby. Own up to it. You sound like a hypocrite.