Overview of Roe v. Wade Essay

1110 Words 5 Pages
In the later half of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth century, many states adopted laws against abortion because abortions were performed in unsanitary conditions, which made the operation dangerous for women. Plus, society believed killing a possible life was immoral. However, as time progressed and morals changed, people begin to question weather or not the government had the right to interfere with peoples’ carnal matters.
In 1971, Norma McCorvey or Jane Roe, filled a case against the district attorney of Dallas County, Henry Wade, because he enforced a Texas law that prohibited abortion unless the abortion was needed medically, to save the mother’s life. Being a single, pregnant woman , Roe did not have the choice
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They also referred to past cases in which the court ruled in favor that marriage, contraception, and child rearing are private activities. As a result, the court said that because the “zone of privacy” was so “broad,” a “woman’s decisions on wheatear or not to terminate her pregnancy” was her decision, not the governments. (pbs.org) Specifically, with a seven to two decision, Roe won the case and sued Wade.
The justices who belonged to the majority were Harry A. Blackman, William J. Brennan, Lewis F. Powell Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Warren Burger, William Orville Douglas, and Potter Stewart. Blackman, a prior counsel member to the Mayo Clinic, wrote the Court’s decision. The majority chose their decision based on one out of three justifications. After researching history about Ancient Greece’s abortion laws to America’s current law, the Court decided that Victorian social concerns and the protection of women’s’ health were irrelevant because of modern general roles and medical technology. The one justification the Court did use was ‘that prenatal life was not within the definition of “persons” as used and protected in the U.S. Constitution and that America’s criminal and civil laws only sometimes regard fetuses as persons deserving protection.’ (pbs.org) In addition to the court’s ruling, the Court also stated that

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