FACT CHECK: No, Roe V. Wade Didn’t Happen Because A Woman Lied About Being Raped By Black Men

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims Roe v. Wade “happened because a woman lied about being raped by black men.”

Verdict: False

Though McCorvey initially claimed she was raped, the race of the attacker was never discussed. The alleged rape and race of the attacker had no role in the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, according to experts.

Fact Check:

Politico recently reported on a leaked draft of a Supreme Court decision that suggests the court intends to overturn its ruling in Roe v. Wade, according to NPR. Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the document the next morning while ordering the marshal of the court to investigate the leak, the outlet reported.

Roe v. Wade is the name of the lawsuit that led to the 1973 Supreme Court decision to establish a constitutional right to abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy. (RELATED: Have There Been 60 Million Abortions Since Roe V. Wade?)

A Facebook post, which has garnered over 2,300 likes, claims the landmark case was based on a false accusation of rape. “Fun fact: Roe V Wade happened because a woman lied about being raped by black men. Where’s BLM?” reads the post.

The Facebook post’s claim is false. Since abortion was illegal in Texas at the time, McCorvey, under the pseudonym of Jane Roe, told the press she was raped to increase her chances of receiving one, Vanity Fair reported. McCorvey revealed the story was false during a 1987 television interview and it was never mentioned by her lawyers throughout her trial, the outlet reported.

“McCorvey had claimed she was raped (falsely) in the hope that it would make it easier for her to get an abortion, but the issue of rape didn’t come up at all in the Supreme Court’s reasoning in the decision,” Mary Ziegler, author of “Abortion and the Law in America: Roe v. Wade to the Present,” said in an emailed statement to Check Your Fact.

Randall Lake, an associate professor at the University of Southern California with expertise in gender and sexuality, concurred with Ziegler. He said in an email to Check Your Fact that the alleged rape “was not the basis of Jane Roe’s suit, nor was it at all part of the SCOTUS decision.”

A 1987 Washington Post article, written soon after McCorvey’s television admission, stated that “rape was never an issue in the Supreme Court case,” and notes the plaintiff’s lawyer, Sarah Weddington, confirmed that rape had no impact on the ruling.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter


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