Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe V. Wade


Product Details

$27.99  $25.75
Encounter Books
Publish Date
5.9 X 1.7 X 9.1 inches | 1.94 pounds
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About the Author

Clarke D. Forsythe is Senior Counsel at Americans United for Life. Clarke has a B.A. from Allegheny College, a J.D. from Valparaiso University, and an M.A. in Bioethics from Trinity International University. Clarke has been co-counsel for parties in three U.S. Supreme Court cases, has argued cases before federal and state appellate courts and has testified before Congress and state legislatures. He is the author of Politics for the Greatest Good: The Case for Prudence in the Public Square (InterVarsity Press (IVP), 2009). Clarke and his wife, married for 31 years, have five daughters.


"When Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton were first decided, leading constitutional scholars like Paul Freund, John Hart Ely, and Archibald Cox were severely critical. Though unopposed to statutory reform of abortion law, they expressed deep concerns about the legal foundations of those decisions, and the likely consequences of the Supreme Court's sweeping judicial over-reach. Now, Clarke Forsythe has proved the worst fears of these legal titans were more than justified. Abuse of Discretion not only exposes the legal and factual errors the Court made in 1972, but meticulously documents the far-reaching and deleterious effects of the Court's rush to judgment."

-- Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law, Harvard University

"Whatever your opinions on abortion, this book raises troubling questions about the lack of information, and in some cases blatant misinformation, on which the Court decided the abortion issue in 1973. If the courts take upon themselves the authority to decide moral and medical questions of this importance, it is not too much to ask that they adhere to rigorous standards of evidence."

-- Michael W. McConnell, Richard & Frances Mallery Professor and Director of the Constitutional Law Center, Stanford Law School

"This is an astonishing, amazing, inside-peek at the process that produced one of America's most controversial constitutional decisions of all time. By scouring through the justices' personal papers, Clarke Forsythe has done an incredible job of unearthing the secret story of how and why the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade as it did. This is original and insightful history."

-- Michael Stokes Paulsen, University Chair & Professor of Law
The University of St. Thomas

"The Supreme Court's creation of a constitutional right to abortion in the Roe v. Wade case is widely acknowledged to be completely indefensible as a matter of constitutional law. In this fine book, Clarke Forsythe, one of our finest constitutional scholars writing on abortion jurisprudence, explores not only the legal weaknesses of Roe and its progeny, but also the astonishing medical and public policy errors on which the decision was based. This is a landmark work on abortion, the Constitution, and the Supreme Court."

-- Stephen B. Presser, Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History
Northwestern University School of Law

"The importance of judges following proper procedure is critical to insure 'equal justice under law' (the ideal inscribed on the U.S. Supreme Court building)--not only to protect the parties but to justify American citizens' faith in our judicial institutions. That is why Clarke Forsythe's examination in Abuse of Discretion is such a critical piece of legal history. With more than 25 years of legal experience researching, writing and lawyering about abortion issues, Mr. Forsythe is imminently qualified to write this important book. Mr. Forsythe's remarkable, revelatory research merits the most careful consideration. It has the potential to reshape our view (and the future) of Roe v. Wade."

-- Lynn D. Wardle, Bruce C. Hafen Professor of Law, Brigham Young University