perform therapeutic abortions for physical as well as psychological reasons, or in cases of fetal effects, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. By 1967, Colorado,California, and North Carolina had passed abortion laws based on the ALI model, and by1970, nine other states did the same.192However, without some form of broad change at the federal level, many states would continue to outlaw abortion with even fewer exceptions.When the two initial abortion cases, Roe v. Wade(1973) and Doe v. Bolton (1973), came before the Supreme Court in 1972, there remained remnants of the liberal Warren Court. Under Chief Justice Earl Warren’s leadership, the Court had forever changed American law surrounding criminal rights, civil rights, separation of church and state, free speech, and much more. 1969 brought in a new Chief Justice, Warren Burger. A Nixon appointee, Burger held the conservative view that the Court had extended rights too far under Warren. By the time the Court was to decide on Roeand Doe, its makeup had altered significantly. Nixon had made four appointments in the same number of years, hoping to swing the Court to the right.192Reagan, When Abortion Was a Crime, 221-222.lxxxi
Both the Roeand Doecases were considered class-action suits, as they challenged the restrictive state laws on behalf of the plaintiffs and others similarly situated. The Roecase involved a Texas statute which prohibited all abortions except for the purpose of saving the life of the mother. “Jane Roe,” a pseudonym used to protect the identity of the plaintiff, was later revealed to be Norma McCorvey.193“Mary Doe” was challenging a Georgia state law which would only permit a woman to have an abortion with the authorization of three physicians and a hospital committee. The physicians and committee were instructed by law to only grant approval if either continued pregnancy endangered the woman’s life or could seriously injure her health, ifthe pregnancy were the result of a rape, or if the fetus would likely be born with serious mental or physical defects. Representing the plaintiffs was a twenty-six-year-old lawyer named Sarah Weddington.194Chosen to write the majority opinion for the Court on the two abortion cases was Justice Harry Blackmun. Blackmun was appointed by President Nixon and had previously served as counsel to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Having previously worked with doctors, it was not surprising that Blackmun “sympathized with 193Leslie Friedman Goldstein, The Constitutional Rights of Women: Cases in Law and Social Change (Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1988), 336.194Ibid.lxxxii
the doctor who was interrupted in his medical practice by the state, and told how he could or could not treat his patients.”195This differed from the liberal bloc of Justices William O. Douglas, William Brennan, and Thurgood Marshall, who believed firmly thata woman’s right to obtain an abortion rested in the right of privacy previously declared in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965).