When most Americans think of abortion, they frequently refer to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that legalized it. However, it is a lesser known case that helped make abortion so prevalent: Doe v. Bolton.
Sandra Cano, the “Mary Doe” of the infamous case,never wanted an abortion. But, like Norma McCorvey, the Roe of Roe v. Wade, she was used to topple pro-life laws across the country. Now, Cano was in the hospital in poor health.
Can had been critically ill in a hospital outside of Atlanta dealing with throat cancer, sepsis and heart failure. Today, she passed away.
As one pro-life activist reports:
Today, Sandra Cano, Mary Doe in the Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court Decision a companion decision to Roe v. Wade has lost her battle with cancer.
According to her friends on Facebook- she passed away September 30, 2014
A post written on Cano’s Facebook page after her death reads, “She is more happy than anyone I know to be gracing heaven. If anyone knows how to enjoy it…it’ll be Sandra. WE love you, Sandra!!! Your name lives on as someone fought for the life of a child…not the right to kill it!!! Love you!!”
As the companion case to Roe v. Wade, the Doe decision saw the high court define “health” to include “all factors — physical emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age” that may prompt someone who have an abortion. Pro-life groups have since opposed health exceptions in any pro-life legislation because it would essentially all for all abortions to remain legal.
Cano eventually filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn Doe v. Bolton but was unsuccessful.
Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America told LifeNews:
Most young adults in this generation don’t know about the companion case to Roe v. Wade – Doe v. Bolton, in which Sandra Cano was Mary Doe. Both cases were instrumental in launching an entire movement dedicated to overturning both decisions and making abortion illegal. Doe v. Bolton specifically defined “health” as “all factors — physical emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age” which meant that a woman could essentially have an abortion for any reason whatsoever and claim it was for her “health.” Sandra Cano became pro-life however and she wanted nothing more than to see her case overturned. Her fight is one that that Students for Life of America will continue to fight for her. We pray for her soul and thank her for her fight to end abortion in this country. May she rest in peace.
Father Pavone of Priests for Life recalled that during a 1997 event at the National Memorial for the Unborn in Chattanooga, TN., Sandra said: “I pledge that as long as I have breath, I will strive to see abortion ended in America.”
Calling her statement “a lasting hope for our nation,” Father Pavone said: “Sandra’s work to overturn that devastating decision that was based on lies will not end with her death. When life ultimately triumphs over death, Sandra will share in that victory.”
Cano told the Catholic Register, “It’s a nightmare to be connected to a case that I never wanted to be connected to. Doe v. Bolton allows abortion up to the ninth month. This case takes children’s lives.”
“Back in 1970,” Cano begins, “I had a very complicated marriage and had two children in foster care. I was pregnant and wanted to get my babies back from foster care. I was poor, uneducated and ignorant. My life was very unstable. I was in a survival state. I went to Atlanta Legal Aid to get a divorce. Whoever was there to try to help me, I trusted. That’s how I became unknowingly involved with Doe v. Bolton. Never once did I know that we were going to kill babies.
“I can’t understand how a case like this could go to the Supreme Court without anyone knowing or speaking to me to find out if what the attorney was presenting to the court was true. I was so ignorant I didn’t know that there were two cases that legalized abortion.
“I ran away to Oklahoma to keep from having an abortion. They knew I was against abortion. Grady Memorial Hospital said I had gone before a panel of nine doctors and nurses to seek an abortion. I never sought an abortion. The hospital has no records because I never went to the hospital.
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“It was only later that I learned that, through Margie Pitt Hames, I had sued Georgia Baptist Hospital to have an abortion.”
The Register asked how she discovered the truth and she replied, “In 1974, I went to Georgia Right to Life to try to find someone to help me. I told them that I was the woman who was involved in the abortion law, but didn’t know what it was about. They sent me to Fayetteville to seek help. On and off over the years, I would come forward, but when you don’t have money or people willing to help, a lot of people think you’re someone off the nut wagon.
“In the 1980s, I talked to an Atlanta Journal and Constitution newspaper reporter. She told me I had to prove who I was. I asked, “How do you do that?” She told me I had to go down to the court to verify that I was the person involved in the case. When I did that, they told me I had to go to the Federal Archives building. When I did that, they gave me this humongous book to look through. I didn’t understand half of it. I was out of my league. There was also a sealed envelope. I wanted to open it, but couldn’t. They told me that I would have to go to the court to have my records unsealed. Someone at the court showed me how to petition the court to unseal the records.
“A week later, Judge Owen Foster called me. He told me, “I don’t normally do this, but think you need a lawyer. We’re going to be hearing your case.” I found an attorney and went down to the court to unseal the records. Margie Pitt Hames didn’t want me to open the records. After unsealing the records I wrote to the Supreme Court. They said that the statute of limitations had passed.”
“They connected my name to a case that I never knew about in the beginning, never participated in, never believed in. I carried a guilt for many, many years. I was just a pawn,” Cano told The Blaze.