Roe v. Wade-Dissenting Opinion: Then Chief Justice William Renquist

Roe v. Wade—Dissenting Opinion
JUSTICE William H. REHNQUIST
01/22/1973

Roe v. Wade

MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST, dissenting.

The Court’s opinion brings to the decision of this troubling question both extensive historical fact and a wealth of legal scholarship. While the opinion thus commands my respect, I find myself nonetheless in fundamental disagreement with those parts of it that invalidate the Texas statute in question, and therefore dissent.


The Court’s opinion decides that a State may impose virtually no restriction on the performance of abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy. Our previous decisions indicate that a necessary predicate for such an opinion is a plaintiff who was in her first trimester of pregnancy at some time during the pendency of her lawsuit. While a party may vindicate his own constitutional rights, he may not seek vindication for the rights of others. Moose Lodge v. Irvis, 407 U.S. 163 (1972); Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727 (1972). The Court’s statement of facts, in this case, makes clear, however, that the record in no way indicates the presence of such a plaintiff. We know only that plaintiff Roe at the time of filing her complaint was a pregnant woman; for aught that appears in this record, she may have been in her last trimester of pregnancy as of the date the complaint was filed.

Nothing in the Court’s opinion indicates that Texas might not constitutionally apply its proscription of abortion as written to a woman in that stage of pregnancy. Nonetheless, the Court uses her complaint against the Texas statute as a fulcrum for deciding that the States may impose virtually no restrictions on medical abortions performed during the first trimester of pregnancy. In deciding such a hypothetical lawsuit, the Court departs from the longstanding admonition that it should never “formulate a rule of constitutional law broader than is required by the precise facts to which it is to be applied.” Liverpool, New York & Philadelphia S. S. Co. v. Commissioners of Emigration, 113 U.S. 33, 39 (1885). See also Ashwander v. TVA, 297 U.S. 288, 345 (1936) (Brandeis, J., concurring)”

You may read the full transcript here.

I do not believe in abortion, period. Something dead cannot all of a sudden become alive. That is preposterous. If a zygote in the womb, like a seed in the ground and becomes a plant or flower, that zygote can grow into an embryo, then a fetus, until full term, and be delivered as a baby. So tell me when it suddenly became was or was not alive? It had to be alive at the inception of conception. Defective zygotes and embryos and sadly sometimes fetus’ self-abort. It is an act of nature.

Many believe a woman who is a product of rape or incest should abort, but I do not necessarily agree. God created all life. Therefore, a woman or teen pregnant under those conditions can carry to term and put the baby up for adoption. That would be the humane thing to do.

Both men and women should indeed use protection, but many women love to play madame butterfly and not pay the consequences. That is why most states have become welfare nanny states. Women just have babies to collect welfare and are being too selfish to put the baby up for adoption. For many women and men, it’s about welfare.

Abortion is a quick way out. It’s a costly way out. Kill the embryo or fetus and get it out of the way. Where is God and morality in all this? Who will tell you, you just may live to regret having an abortion? Do women really think it is okay to live with blood on their hands? Abortion is murder. I pray not, and if you have had an abortion pray to God and ask for His forgiveness, because He is faithful to forgive you.

Thou shalt not kill.

9 thoughts on “Roe v. Wade-Dissenting Opinion: Then Chief Justice William Renquist

  1. Good post, Elizabeth.

    My 2 cents…

    The vast majority of abortions have nothing to do with rape or incest. Abortion advocates use those situations as false flags.

    PS: I’ve known a few women — And children! One was 11-12 years old and had been impregnated by her much-older brother! — who had an abortion because of rape or incest. I don’t judge these people; they aren’t in the same classification as those who have had abortions on demand or because of inconvenience.

    PPS: The saddest case I know of was that of my cousin (1924-1997), who had an abortion because she feared her father’s reaction to her pregnancy. But this cousin — dear to me — said these words in her 60’s to me as she reflected on her life: “I sinned. But I’ve been forgiven.” Still, not a day went by that she didn’t cry out to the Lord for comfort and forgiveness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do not judge the women that have abortions due to incest or rape. I was only saying there are other choices. I believe living with the lifelong guilt of abortion is far worse than nine months of discomfort.

      I am like your cousin. I was so afraid of my mother finding out. A friend offered to pay for everything because she could not become pregnant. She was willing to adopt the baby. But at 21 you are immature in many ways mentally. So I opted to have the abortion after consulting a priest who never comforted me only judged me. Back then I was more afraid of my mom than God. I made a wrong very wrong choice and I know I am forgiven because God is good. But if I could do it over I would not do it. No one tells you about the guilt and emptiness you feel later. Abortion should only be the last option in a horrific situation. I pray this post helps even one young woman from this horrid mistake.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. No one tells you about the guilt and emptiness you feel later.

    So true. But God forgives if we sincerely repent — what you did.

    I was never faced with such a choice, but so many of my friends were. They never got themselves in that situation again.

    Sounds like that was the case with you. Again, I understand– –as much as I’m capable of without being in the same situation, that is.

    The most awful case that I personally know of was the incest case I mentioned above. I often wonder what happened to that girl! I do know what happened to her brother: he as booted from the home and enlisted in the military. BTW, he had also sodomized the 6-year-old boy. Such a tragic family! Christian parents!

    I also want to add here that I am appalled when women use the revolving door of abortion. What happened to their souls, that these women so freely kill their babies?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am not sure why women kill and kill doing it over and over again. It has nothing to do with God or if they are Christian or any other religion. I forgive those that made the mistake once and then repented to God sincerely and did not do it again, but like you, I am stymied as to why these women keep doing it. It is with a seared mind that one continually commits such acts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Women who essentially use abortion as after the fact birth control, should rightly be pilloried.

      I don’t have a strong stand on abortion either way, but I do find it unconscionable to exclude a provision for rape and incest in an anti-abortion bill…..like the Texas bill does.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am in complete agreement. Although I state one might consider carrying to term to give the baby up for adoption I am in no way, shape, or form suggesting that women should not have a choice under those circumstances. However, abortion as you described “abortion as after the fact birth control,” should be pilloried.

        Liked by 1 person

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