Essay about Roe 's First Trimester Framework
In March 1970, Jane Roe , an unmarried pregnant woman, filed lawsuit against Texas on the grounds that its ‘criminal abortion statutes’ were unconstitutional. Brought to the Supreme Court in 1972, Roe V. Wade declared allowing abortion only to save the mother 's life unconstitutional by interpreting the ‘right to privacy’ as being inclusive to a woman’s decision to have an abortion- a victory for Roe. The seven justice majority who contributed to Roe’s legalisation of abortion framed the decision with three considerations: ‘the rights of the pregnant woman, the rights of the state to promote interest in maternal health, and the right of the state to promote its interest in the potentiality of human life.’ The first trimester of pregnancy constitutes the physician’s territory, allowing them to be the ultimate deciders (over the State) on termination guidelines and practice. This medical discretion weakens into the second trimester of pregnancy, when the State’s interest in maternal health has greater influence over procedural guidelines than the medical authority of physicians. Post-fetal viability, or into the third trimester, the State has the right to exert its interest for both the ‘potential for human life’ as well as maternal health on abortion provision, allowing for States to enact laws against the advice of medical professionals and outright prohibit third trimester abortions.
The History Behind Roe
In the opinion of the court,…