“60 Minutes Rewind” makes available program on abortion that first ran eight months before Roe v. Wade decided

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. The subject matter of this story, posted a year ago, represents the distilled essence of media bias. See if you don’t agree.

This post helps to place the wretched judicial abominations of Roe v. Wade and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton in historical context. It was this week, in 2018, that CBS News ran what it called “60 Minutes Rewind.”

It was a program that had originally aired May 14, 1972, with the pretentious and annoying Mike Wallace telling us what’s what about abortion in America eight months before the High Court’s 7-2 decision.

The program first aired, as it happened, on Mother’s Day. 

The hook was that the New York legislature had just voted to repeal its highly “liberal” abortion law that had passed by a single vote in 1970. But pro-abortion Gov. Nelson Rockefeller then vetoed the repeal and the legislature would not have the votes to override his veto.

In classic Wallace style, there’s no shortage of smarmy pro-abortion propaganda, put downs of pro-lifers, and cocked eyebrows that President Nixon had not embraced the pro-abortion recommendations of the Commission on Population and the American Future. 

But, to be accurate, one New York officeholder was allowed to make the case that “I don’t know how to measure the beginning of life except at the point of conception” and another woman to point out that no one had shown that the unborn “was not human.”

Forty-seven years and over 60 million abortions later, you listen in a kind of dazed amazement to Wallace conclude with contrasting possible Supreme Court outcomes. In all his pontificating glory, Wallace tells us the Supreme Court is being asked “whether laws restricting abortion in Texas and Georgia are a violation of the right to privacy and a denial of individual rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

“If the Supreme Court decides the Texas and Georgia laws on abortion are unconstitutional that would open the way to legalized abortion throughout the country.

“But if the Supreme Court decides that a woman’s constitutional rights are not breached by anti-abortion laws, well, then, it seems likely the opposing forces will continue to do battle for many Mother’s Days to come.”

Well, yes, indeed. But what Wallace could not have known eight months in advance of Roe and Doe was that the Supreme Court would legalize abortion through the entire nine months throughout the entire country.

Wallace could see that pro-abortionists would fight another day, if they lost. He predicted as much.

However Wallace did not predict that pro-lifers would rise to battle if the High Court overturned abortion laws, most of which were quite protective.

Like the New York Times, in its response when Roe and Doe were decided, no doubt Wallace believed pro-lifers would dutifully fold their tents and quietly go home.

Pro-lifers had the beginnings of a great grassroots movement even in 1972. It has only grown larger and more effective ever since.