Roe vs.  Wade: What is the historic case that validated the right to abortion in the United States about?

Roe Vs. Wade: What Is The Historic Case That Validated The Right To Abortion In The United States About?

A leaked draft US Supreme Court opinion hints that the country’s highest court could move to strike down the constitutional right to abortion, allowing each state and territory to more strictly regulate or even ban abortion. process.

What does Roe vs. Wade?

Roe vs. Wade is the name of the lawsuit that led to the historic ruling of the federal Supreme Court that in 1973 established the constitutional right to abortion in the United States. The majority decision found an absolute right to abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy.


Who were Roe and Wade?

Jane Roe was the pseudonym of Norma McCorvey, who was 22 years old, single, unemployed and in 1969 was in her third pregnancy when she tried to have an abortion in Texas. By the time the US Supreme Court ruled in her favor, McCorvey had already given birth to a girl, whom she put up for adoption.

Henry Wade was the District Attorney for Dallas County, Texas. It was up to him to enforce the state law that prohibited abortion except to save a woman’s life, so he went to the person McCorvey sued when he tried to have an abortion.

After her death, biographer Joshua Prager said that McCorvey made a living giving speeches and writing books on both sides of the abortion debate, and received advice from both sides. He had mixed feelings about each, Prager said, but was consistent with one thing: supporting first-trimester abortion.

What did the Court decide in 1973?

The plaintiff claimed that the Texas law was unconstitutionally vague and violated her constitutionally protected right to personal privacy. The question before the federal Supreme Court was: does the Constitution recognize a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy through an abortion?

Justice Harry Blackmun delivered the 7-2 majority opinion, stating that, in fact, yes, although such protection had to be balanced between the government’s interests in protecting women’s health and “the possibility of human life.” ”. The conservative-leaning court said that the decision to abort during the first three months of pregnancy is up to the woman and her doctor.

What was the panorama like in the United States before the ruling?

At Roe’s time, abortion was broadly legal in just four states and permitted under limited circumstances in 16 others. Constitutional rights supersede state law, so the decision overturned the ban in the other 30 states. But it did allow states to impose certain regulations during the second trimester to protect a woman’s health and to take steps to protect the life of the fetus in the third trimester.

How have subsequent decisions altered the right to abortion?

Blackmun was still in court in 1992 when he heard Planned Parenthood v. Casey, an indictment of Pennsylvania’s abortion laws, which included a 24-hour waiting period. The conservative-leaning court surprisingly upheld abortion rights, while making it easier for states to impose regulations.

Three conservative justices—Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony M. Kennedy, and David H. Souter—co-authored the leading opinion in the 5-4 ruling: “The right of a woman to terminate her pregnancy before viability is the most fundamental principle of Roe vs. Wade. It is a law and a component of freedom that we cannot give up.”

Neither side on the abortion issue was satisfied with the ruling. Since then, conservative states have gradually curtailed abortion rights with laws that have sparked many more legal challenges, including a recent law in Texas that bans most abortions after the sixth week of gestation.

What is the new case that could change the Roe ruling?

Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, challenging Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks.

Upholding that ban would undermine both Roe and Casey, both of which allow states to regulate, but not prohibit, abortion up to the point of fetal viability, roughly 24 weeks. The decision, according to the draft opinion, would likely result in a variety of abortion laws, with some states protecting it and others banning it altogether.



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