Roe V. Wade Case Essay

952 Words May 4th, 2015 4 Pages
Roe v. Wade was not the first point in history abortion was discussed. Prior to the court case, many states, and eventually the Supreme Court, ruled on the constitutionality of state laws which preluded Roe v. Wade. In 1879, a Connecticut law was enacted stating that any one person who attempted through medical means to prevent conception of a child should “be fined not less than forty dollars or imprisoned no less than sixty days” (“Griswold v. Connecticut…”). This meant that any form of contraceptive (i.e. birth control, condoms, and abortion) was illegal in the eyes of the Connecticut state court. In 1939, the Waterbury Maternal Health Center in Waterbury, Connecticut was raided by police for their practice which helped “married women who could not afford private medical care” (Dudziak). The predominately Catholic city saw “‘that the clinic was operating in wanton disregard, not only of the laws of God, but of the State of Connecticut also’” (Dudziak). On June 12, 1939 police arrested Doctor Roger B. Nelson, Doctor William B. Goodrich, and medical director, Clara McTernan, filed charges, and permanently shut down the clinic (Dudziak). However, Estelle Griswold and Dr. C. Lee Buxton sought to reinstall an abortion center and on November 1, 1961, the two opened a new clinic in New Haven, Connecticut which attended to ten new patients (Garrow). While doing so, Griswold and Buxton violated the 1879 law which declared it illegal to distribute contraceptives. The two were found…

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