Roe Vs Wade Political Impact

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Roe v Wade is one of the most prominent rulings to be handed down by the United States Supreme Court in the twentieth century. This case effectively legalised abortion nationwide, establishing that the termination of a pregnancy is protected by the constitutional right to privacy. The plaintiff, Jane Roe, sought to nullify a Texas statute declaring that the termination of pregnancy is an indictable offence. Notwithstanding the sizeable precedent set by Roe v Wade, abortion continues to be one of the most highly contested issues within the political discourse. This paper will analyse the legal, social and political impact that Roe v Wade has had on America since it was handed down in 1973. It will refer to the content of the case itself and …show more content…

The social impact that this ruling had was considerable. Whilst the religious right was slowly gaining steam throughout the seventies, Roe invigorated this movement and they became a noticeable force in American politics. Sanford explains how for conservative Christians “truth is something absolute, contained in inerrant texts or teachings…containing such moral axioms as “life begins at conception.”” In essence the decision in Roe was counter to fundamental belief in the personhood of a foetus, thus the Supreme Court endorsed what was considered to be murder. Roe v Wade gave the religious right a reason to wage war against the court’s socially progressive agenda and the broader struggle against the waning influence of religion in public life. Greenhouse denotes that “antiabortion politics grew within the evangelical movement as part of a more broad-based attack on cultural developments evangelical critics termed "secular humanism."” Factions within the Republican Party established a ‘moral majority’ that would promote traditional values and seek to overturn Roe. Decades after the ruling, pro-choice activists have acknowledged the methodical and effective tactics or the pro-life movement. Weitz in her article states “40 years following the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision…abortion-rights activists appear to be losing.” The continuing success of the religious right underscores immense social impact of Roe. Conversely, the pro-choice and feminist movements did not succumb to complacency but rather doubled down on their efforts to secure abortion rights. Nonetheless Joffe argues that the incessant need of pro-choice activists to preserve Roe has inevitably meant that multiple feminist causes have not been adequately attended to. She argues “the need to defend Roe has inevitably meant a lessened focus on other items on the movement's agenda… such as affordable quality child care, job

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