Roe V. Wade

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On Jan. 23, 1973, the U. S. Supreme Court issued a landmark case that affirmed the right of women to have abortions. The title of the case was Roe v. Wade, and it was decided by a 7 - 2 majority of the court. Even today, in 2009, it continues to be the law of the land. Most people have a general understanding of the legal basis for the Roe v. Wade decision, but few have taken the time to actually read the majority opinion, which was written by Mr. Justice Blackmun. A careful study of the decision, however, reveals the following: ~ Roe (Jane Roe) was actually a pseudonym for Norma L. McCorvey, the pregnant woman who was the plaintiff in the case. Wade refers to Henry Wade, District Attorney of Dallas County, Texas, who was attempting to enforce a state law that prohibited abortions. ~ The court concluded that adult women have the right, under the U. S. Constitution, to terminate pregnancies under most (but not all) conditions. The court said that the nine-month gestation period that is typical in a woman 's pregnancy can be considered in three-month blocks of time called "trimesters." In the first trimester (first three months), …show more content…

Wade "permits abortions right up to the day of delivery." That is an inaccurate and highly misleading statement. ~There is additional misinformation about the constitutional basis for the High Court 's decision. Many writers contend that abortion rights are based on the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. That is only partly correct. Mr. Justice Blackmun, in writing the majority decision, stated the following: "This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment 's concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment 's reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman 's decision whether or not to terminate her

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