Learn the Facts

Who was Mary Doe?

The “Mary Doe” in Doe v. Bolton was Sandra Cano. Cano had gone to a free legal clinic seeking help getting a divorce and retrieving her children from foster care. She happened to be pregnant at the time. Without her realizing what they were doing, her lawyers sidelined the issues she wanted help with and instead filed a lawsuit stating that she wanted an abortion. When Cano’s mother and lawyer arranged for her to have an abortion, she fled the state.

Unfortunately Cano did not understand the legal jargon being used in her case. She had no idea that her lawyers were fighting for abortion rights, not for her divorce. Cano has always been and continues to be opposed to abortion. Cano even filed a motion for the Supreme Court to rehear and overturn her case, but in 2006 the Court refused. Her story is chronicled in the book Supreme Deception.


Fletcher Lash, Sybil. Supreme Deception: How an Activist Attorney Manipulated the U.S. Supreme Court and Gave Birth To Partial Birth Abortions. Lawrenceville: Sentinel Productions, 2002.

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