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9: Rights not specifically mentioned in the constitution should not be assumed not to exist

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

NINTH AMENDMENT (1791)

The Constitution mentions nothing called the "right of privacy." In 1973 the Supreme Court, relying in large part on preceding rulings that overturned state laws forbidding contraception, found that an inherent right to personal privacy existed. In turn, the courts used those assumed rights as a partial foundation for an unprecedented ruling that limited the extent to which states could restrict abortion. The case, Roe v. Wade, pitted an anonymous young woman against the district attorney of Dallas County, Texas, and opened the door to widespread access to legal abortion -- a decision that is still a flashpoint between those who see it as emancipating for women and others who view it as dehumanizing the unborn. The young plaintiff in the case, known then as Roe, was Norma McCorvey.

Almost 30 years after the decision, Norma McCorvey reversed her own position and now denounces legal abortion. During a visit to seminarians at Gilmary Diocesan Center in Coraopolis, Aug. 21, she prayed and then declared, "I was a pawn in the pro-abortion movement." Before her conversion -- first to Protestant Christianity and, later, to Roman Catholicism -- McCorvey worked as a volunteer at a family planning organization. It was there that she was persuaded to change sides by protesters who were exercising their rights under the First Amendment.


Amendment IX: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


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