Roe v. Wade
Overview
 
Roe v. Wade, , was a controversial landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 on the issue of abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

. The Court decided that a right to privacy under the due process
Due process
Due process is the legal code that the state must venerate all of the legal rights that are owed to a person under the principle. Due process balances the power of the state law of the land and thus protects individual persons from it...

 clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments.Its Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Dred Scott v...

 extends to a woman's decision to have an abortion, but that right must be balanced against the state's two legitimate interests for regulating abortions: protecting prenatal life and protecting the woman's health. Saying that these state interests become stronger over the course of a pregnancy, the Court resolved this balancing test
Balancing test
A balancing test is any judicial test in which the jurists weigh the importance of multiple factors in a legal case. Proponents of such tests argue that they allow a deeper consideration of complex issues than a bright line rule can allow...

 by tying state regulation of abortion to the woman's current trimester of pregnancy.

The Court later rejected Roe's trimester framework, while affirming Roe's central holding that a person has a right to abortion up until viability.
Encyclopedia
Roe v. Wade, , was a controversial landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 on the issue of abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

. The Court decided that a right to privacy under the due process
Due process
Due process is the legal code that the state must venerate all of the legal rights that are owed to a person under the principle. Due process balances the power of the state law of the land and thus protects individual persons from it...

 clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments.Its Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Dred Scott v...

 extends to a woman's decision to have an abortion, but that right must be balanced against the state's two legitimate interests for regulating abortions: protecting prenatal life and protecting the woman's health. Saying that these state interests become stronger over the course of a pregnancy, the Court resolved this balancing test
Balancing test
A balancing test is any judicial test in which the jurists weigh the importance of multiple factors in a legal case. Proponents of such tests argue that they allow a deeper consideration of complex issues than a bright line rule can allow...

 by tying state regulation of abortion to the woman's current trimester of pregnancy.

The Court later rejected Roe's trimester framework, while affirming Roe's central holding that a person has a right to abortion up until viability. The Roe decision defined "viable" as being "potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid," adding that viability "is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks."

In disallowing many state
State law
In the United States, state law is the law of each separate U.S. state, as passed by the state legislature and adjudicated by state courts. It exists in parallel, and sometimes in conflict with, United States federal law. These disputes are often resolved by the federal courts.-See also:*List of U.S...

 and federal
Federal law
Federal law is the body of law created by the federal government of a country. A federal government is formed when a group of political units, such as states or provinces join together in a federation, surrendering their individual sovereignty and many powers to the central government while...

 restrictions on abortion in the United States
Abortion in the United States
Abortion in the United States has been legal in every state since the United States Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, on January 22, 1973...

, Roe v. Wade prompted a national debate
Abortion debate
The abortion debate refers to discussion and controversy surrounding the moral and legal status of abortion. The two main groups involved in the abortion debate are the self-described "pro-choice" movement and the "pro-life" movement...

 that continues today, about issues including whether and to what extent abortion should be legal, who should decide the legality of abortion, what methods the Supreme Court should use in constitutional adjudication
Adjudication
Adjudication is the legal process by which an arbiter or judge reviews evidence and argumentation including legal reasoning set forth by opposing parties or litigants to come to a decision which determines rights and obligations between the parties involved....

, and what the role should be of religious
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 and moral
Morality
Morality is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good and bad . A moral code is a system of morality and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code...

 views in the political sphere. Roe v. Wade reshaped national politics, dividing much of the United States into pro-choice
Pro-choice
Support for the legalization of abortion is centered around the pro-choice movement, a sociopolitical movement supporting the ethical view that a woman should have the legal right to elective abortion, meaning the right to terminate her pregnancy....

 and pro-life
Pro-life
Opposition to the legalization of abortion is centered around the pro-life, or anti-abortion, movement, a social and political movement opposing elective abortion on moral grounds and supporting its legal prohibition or restriction...

 camps, while activating grassroots
Grassroots
A grassroots movement is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures...

 movements on both sides.

Both supporters and opponents of Roe have sometimes mischaracterized the decision’s effects. For example, a pro-choice claim is that overturning Roe would result in thousands of women per year dying from illegal abortions
Unsafe abortion
An unsafe abortion is the termination of an unwanted pregnancy by persons lacking the necessary skills, or in an environment lacking minimal medical standards, or both...

. A pro-life claim is that the female suicide
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

 rate worsened because of Roe. According to FactCheck
FactCheck
FactCheck.org is a non-partisan, nonprofit website that describes itself as a consumer advocate' for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics." It is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University...

, neither claim is well-founded.

Prior history of the case

In June 1969, Norma L. McCorvey
Norma McCorvey
Norma Leah McCorvey , better known by the legal pseudonym "Jane Roe", was the plaintiff in the landmark American lawsuit Roe v. Wade in 1973. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned individual states' laws against abortion by ruling them unconstitutional...

 discovered she was pregnant with her third child. She returned to Dallas, where friends advised her to assert falsely that she had been raped, as she could then obtain a legal abortion (with the understanding that Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

' anti-abortion laws allowed abortion in the cases of rape and incest). However, this scheme failed, as there was no police report documenting the alleged rape. She attempted to obtain an illegal abortion, but found the unauthorized site shuttered, closed down by the police. Eventually, she was referred to attorneys Linda Coffee
Linda Coffee
Linda Nellene Coffee is an attorney living in Dallas, Texas. Coffee is best known for representing Norma McCorvey , a pregnant woman who desired an abortion, in the precedent-setting United States Supreme Court case Roe v...

 and Sarah Weddington
Sarah Weddington
Sarah Ragle Weddington is an American attorney and lecturer from Texas who gained worldwide fame when she and Linda Coffee represented "Jane Roe" in the landmark Roe v. Wade case in the United States Supreme Court.-Family and education:She is the daughter of Lena Catherine and Rev...

. (McCorvey would give birth before the case was decided.)

In 1970, attorneys Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington filed suit in a U.S. District Court in Texas on behalf of Norma L. McCorvey (under the alias Jane Roe
John Doe
The name "John Doe" is used as a placeholder name in a legal action, case or discussion for a male party, whose true identity is unknown or must be withheld for legal reasons. The name is also used to refer to a male corpse or hospital patient whose identity is unknown...

). The defendant in the case was Dallas County District Attorney
Dallas County District Attorney
The Dallas County District Attorney is the elected district attorney of Dallas County, Texas.The office prosecutes violations and offenses of Texas state law.. The office is notable for arguing Roe v. Wade and prosecuting Jack Ruby...

 Henry Wade
Henry Wade
Henry Menasco Wade , was a Texas lawyer who participated in two of the most notable U.S. court cases of the 20th century, the prosecution of Jack Ruby for killing Lee Harvey Oswald and the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing abortion, Roe v. Wade...

, representing the State of Texas. At the time, McCorvey was no longer claiming her pregnancy was the result of rape, and later acknowledged she had lied earlier about having been raped.
"Rape" is not mentioned in the judicial opinions in this case.

The district court ruled in McCorvey's favor on the merits
Merit (legal)
Merits is a legal concept referring to the inherent rights and wrongs of a legal case, absent of any emotional or technical biases. The evidence is solely applied to cases decided on the merits, and any procedural matters are discounted.-External links:*...

, and declined to grant an injunction
Injunction
An injunction is an equitable remedy in the form of a court order that requires a party to do or refrain from doing certain acts. A party that fails to comply with an injunction faces criminal or civil penalties and may have to pay damages or accept sanctions...

 against the enforcement of the laws barring abortion. The district court's decision was based upon the Ninth Amendment
Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, addresses rights of the people that are not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.-Text:-Adoption:When the U.S...

, and the court relied upon a concurring opinion by Justice Arthur Goldberg
Arthur Goldberg
Arthur Joseph Goldberg was an American statesman and jurist who served as the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Supreme Court Justice and Ambassador to the United Nations.-Early life:...

 in the 1965 Supreme Court case of Griswold v. Connecticut
Griswold v. Connecticut
Griswold v. Connecticut, , was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution protected a right to privacy. The case involved a Connecticut law that prohibited the use of contraceptives...

, regarding a right to use contraceptives. Few state laws proscribed contraceptives in 1965 when the Griswold case was decided, whereas abortion was widely proscribed by state laws in the early 1970s.

Roe v. Wade ultimately reached the U.S. Supreme Court on appeal. Following a first round of arguments, Justice Harry Blackmun
Harry Blackmun
Harold Andrew Blackmun was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1970 until 1994. He is best known as the author of Roe v. Wade.- Early years and professional career :...

 drafted a preliminary opinion that emphasized what he saw as the Texas law's vagueness. Justices William Rehnquist
William Rehnquist
William Hubbs Rehnquist was an American lawyer, jurist, and political figure who served as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States and later as the 16th Chief Justice of the United States...

 and Lewis F. Powell, Jr. joined the Supreme Court too late to hear the first round of arguments. Therefore, Chief Justice Warren Burger proposed that the case be reargued; this took place on October 11, 1972. Weddington continued to represent Roe, and Texas Assistant Attorney General Robert C. Flowers stepped in to replace Wade. Justice William O. Douglas
William O. Douglas
William Orville Douglas was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. With a term lasting 36 years and 209 days, he is the longest-serving justice in the history of the Supreme Court...

 threatened to write a dissent from the reargument order, but was coaxed out of the action by his colleagues, and his dissent was merely mentioned in the reargument order without further statement or opinion.

Supreme Court decision

The Court issued its decision on January 22, 1973, with a 7-to-2 majority vote in favor of Roe. Burger and Douglas' concurring opinion and White's dissenting opinion were issued separately, in the companion case of Doe v. Bolton
Doe v. Bolton
Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 , was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court overturning the abortion law of Georgia. The Supreme Court's decision was released on January 22, 1973, the same day as the decision in the better-known case of Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S...

. The Court deemed abortion a fundamental right under the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

, thereby subjecting all laws attempting to restrict it to the standard of strict scrutiny
Strict scrutiny
Strict scrutiny is the most stringent standard of judicial review used by United States courts. It is part of the hierarchy of standards that courts use to weigh the government's interest against a constitutional right or principle. The lesser standards are rational basis review and exacting or...

.

Ninth Amendment

The Court declined to adopt the district court's Ninth Amendment
Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, addresses rights of the people that are not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.-Text:-Adoption:When the U.S...

 rationale, and instead asserted that the "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 pregnancy." Douglas in his concurring opinion in the companion case Doe v. Bolton
Doe v. Bolton
Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 , was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court overturning the abortion law of Georgia. The Supreme Court's decision was released on January 22, 1973, the same day as the decision in the better-known case of Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S...

, stated more emphatically that, "The Ninth Amendment obviously does not create federally enforceable rights." Thus, the Roe majority rested its opinion squarely on the Constitution's due process clause.

Justiciability

An aspect of the decision that attracted comparatively little attention was the Court's disposition of the issues of standing
Standing (law)
In law, standing or locus standi is the term for the ability of a party to demonstrate to the court sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action challenged to support that party's participation in the case...

 and mootness
Mootness
In American law, a matter is moot if further legal proceedings with regard to it can have no effect, or events have placed it beyond the reach of the law...

. Under the traditional interpretation of these rules, Jane Roe's appeal was "moot" because she had already given birth to her child and thus would not be affected by the ruling; she also lacked "standing" to assert the rights of other pregnant women. As she did not present an "actual case or controversy
Case or controversy
The Case or Controversy Clause of Article III of the United States Constitution has been deemed to impose a requirement that United States federal courts are not permitted to hear cases that do not pose an actual controversy — that is, an actual dispute between adverse parties which is capable of...

" (a grievance and a demand for relief), any opinion issued by the Supreme Court would constitute an advisory opinion
Advisory opinion
An advisory opinion is an opinion issued by a court that does not have the effect of adjudicating a specific legal case, but merely advises on the constitutionality or interpretation of a law. Some countries have procedures by which the executive or legislative branches may certify important...

, a practice in which the Court traditionally did not engage.

The Court concluded that the case came within an established exception to the rule; one that allowed consideration of an issue that was "capable of repetition, yet evading review." This phrase had been coined in 1911 by Justice Joseph McKenna
Joseph McKenna
Joseph McKenna was an American politician who served in all three branches of the U.S. federal government, as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, as U.S. Attorney General and as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court...

. Blackmun's opinion quoted McKenna, and noted that pregnancy would normally conclude more quickly than an appellate process: "If that termination makes a case moot, pregnancy litigation seldom will survive much beyond the trial stage, and appellate review will be effectively denied."

History of abortion laws in the United States

According to the Court, "the restrictive criminal abortion laws in effect in a majority of States today are of relatively recent vintage." Before 1821, when Connecticut passed the first state statute criminalizing abortion, abortion in the United States
Abortion in the United States
Abortion in the United States has been legal in every state since the United States Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, on January 22, 1973...

 was sometimes considered a common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 crime. Every state had abortion legislation by 1900. The Court concluded that the Texas statute
Texas abortion statutes (1961)
Articles 1191-1194 and 1196 of the Texas Penal Code were the portions of the 1961 Texas Penal Code that were challenged and held to be unconstitutional in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of Roe v...

 and other abortion legislation in the United States were aberrations.

Dissents

Associate Justices Byron R. White and William H. Rehnquist wrote emphatic dissenting opinions in this case. Justice White wrote:
White asserted that the Court "values the convenience of the pregnant mother more than the continued existence and development of the life or potential life that she carries." Despite White suggesting he "might agree" with the Court's values and priorities, he wrote that he saw "no constitutional warrant for imposing such an order of priorities on the people and legislatures of the States." White criticized the Court for involving itself in this issue by creating "a constitutional barrier to state efforts to protect human life and by investing mothers and doctors with the constitutionally protected right to exterminate it." He would have left this issue, for the most part, "with the people and to the political processes the people have devised to govern their affairs."

Rehnquist elaborated upon several of White's points, by asserting that the Court's historical analysis was flawed:
From this historical record, Rehnquist concluded that, "There apparently was no question concerning the validity of this provision or of any of the other state statutes when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted." Therefore, in his view, "the drafters did not intend to have the Fourteenth Amendment withdraw from the States the power to legislate with respect to this matter."

Controversy

Some pro-life supporters maintain that person
Person
A person is a human being, or an entity that has certain capacities or attributes strongly associated with being human , for example in a particular moral or legal context...

hood begins at fertilization (also referred to as conception), and should therefore be protected by the Constitution; the dissenting justices in Roe instead wrote that decisions about abortion "should be left with the people and to the political processes the people have devised to govern their affairs." The majority opinion allowed states to protect "fetal life after viability" even though a fetus is not "a person within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment". A prominent argument against the Roe decision is that, in the absence of consensus about when meaningful life begins, it is best to avoid the risk of doing harm.

Every year on the anniversary of the decision, pro-life supporters march up Constitution Avenue
Constitution Avenue
In Washington, D.C., Constitution Avenue is a major east-west street running just north of the United States Capitol in the city's Northwest and Northeast quadrants...

 to the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 in the March for Life
March for Life
March for Life is an annual pro-life rally protesting abortion, held in Washington, D.C., on or around the anniversary of the United States Supreme Court's decision legalizing abortion in the case Roe v. Wade. The march is organized by the March for Life Education and Defense Fund. The overall goal...

. Around 250,000 people attend the march each year.

Advocates of Roe describe it as vital to the preservation of women's rights
Women's rights
Women's rights are entitlements and freedoms claimed for women and girls of all ages in many societies.In some places these rights are institutionalized or supported by law, local custom, and behaviour, whereas in others they may be ignored or suppressed...

, personal freedom, and privacy. Denying the abortion right has been equated to compulsory motherhood, and some scholars (not including any member of the Supreme Court) have argued that abortion bans therefore violate the Thirteenth Amendment
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On...

:
Opponents of Roe have objected that the decision lacks a valid constitutional foundation. Like the dissenters in Roe, they have maintained that the Constitution is silent on the issue, and that proper solutions to the question would best be found via state legislatures and the democratic
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 process, rather than through an all-encompassing ruling from the Supreme Court.

Supporters of Roe contend that the decision has a valid constitutional foundation, or contend that justification for the result in Roe could be found in the Constitution but not in the articles referenced in the decision.

In response to Roe v. Wade, most states enacted or attempted to enact laws limiting or regulating abortion, such as laws requiring parental consent
Parental consent
Parental consent laws in some countries require that one or more parents consent to or be notified before their minor child can legally engage in certain activities....

 for minors to obtain abortions, parental notification laws, spousal mutual consent laws, spousal notification
Paternal rights and abortion
The paternal rights and abortion issue is an extension of both the abortion debate and the fathers' rights movement. Countries recognizing father's legal rights on abortion have laws requiring that the male who impregnated the pregnant female either consent or be informed before she has an...

 laws, laws requiring abortions to be performed in hospitals but not clinics, laws barring state funding for abortions, laws banning intact dilation and extraction (also known as partial-birth abortion
Intact dilation and extraction
Intact dilation and extraction is a procedure done in late term abortion. It is also known as intact dilation and evacuation, dilation and extraction , intrauterine cranial decompression and, vernacularly in the United States, as partial birth abortion...

), laws requiring waiting periods before abortion, or laws mandating women read certain types of literature and watch a fetal ultrasound before undergoing an abortion. Congress in 1976 passed the Hyde Amendment
Hyde Amendment
In U.S. politics, the Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortions. It is not a permanent law, rather it is a "rider" that, in various forms, has been routinely attached to annual appropriations bills since 1976...

, barring federal funding of abortions (except in the case of rape, incest, or life of the woman) for poor women through the Medicaid
Medicaid
Medicaid is the United States health program for certain people and families with low incomes and resources. It is a means-tested program that is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, and is managed by the states. People served by Medicaid are U.S. citizens or legal permanent...

 program. The Supreme Court struck down several state restrictions on abortions in a long series of cases stretching from the mid-1970s to the late 1980s, but upheld restrictions on funding, including the Hyde Amendment, in the case of Harris v. McRae
Harris v. McRae
Harris v. McRae, 448 U.S. 297 , was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that States that participated in Medicaid were not required to fund medically necessary abortions for which federal reimbursement was unavailable as a result of the Hyde Amendment, which restricted the...

(1980).

The most prominent organized groups that mobilized in response to Roe are the National Abortion Rights Action League
NARAL Pro-Choice America
NARAL Pro-Choice America , formerly the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, then National Abortion Rights Action League, and later National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, is an organization in the United States that engages in political action to oppose...

 on the pro-choice side, and the National Right to Life Committee
National Right to Life Committee
The National Right to Life Committee is the oldest and largest pro-life organization in the United States with affiliates in all 50 states and over 3,000 local chapters nationwide. The group works through legislation and education to work against abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted...

 on the pro-life side. The late Harry Blackmun, author of the Roe opinion, was a determined advocate for the decision. Others have joined him in support of Roe, including Judith Jarvis Thomson
Judith Jarvis Thomson
Judith Jarvis Thomson is an American moral philosopher and metaphysician, best known for her use of thought experiments to make philosophical points.- Career :...

, who before the decision had offered an influential defense of abortion. Perhaps the most notable opposition to Roe comes from Roe herself. In 1995, Norma L. McCorvey revealed that she became pro-life
Pro-life
Opposition to the legalization of abortion is centered around the pro-life, or anti-abortion, movement, a social and political movement opposing elective abortion on moral grounds and supporting its legal prohibition or restriction...

 and is now a vocal opponent to abortion.

Roe remains controversial. Polls show continued division about its landmark rulings, and about the decision as a whole.

Internal memoranda

Internal Supreme Court memoranda surfaced in the Library of Congress
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

 in 1988, among the personal papers of Douglas and other Justices, showing the private discussions of the Justices on the case. Blackmun said of the majority decision he authored, "You will observe that I have concluded that the end of the first trimester is critical. This is arbitrary, but perhaps any other selected point, such as quickening
Quickening
Quickening is the earliest perception of fetal movement by a mother during pregnancy Quickening may also refer to:* Quickening , Final Fantasy XIIs incarnation of "Limit Breaks"...

 or viability, is equally arbitrary." Stewart said the lines were "legislative" and wanted more flexibility and consideration paid to the state legislatures, though he joined Blackmun's decision.

The assertion that the Supreme Court was making a legislative decision is often repeated by opponents of the Court's decision. The "viability" criterion, which Blackmun acknowledged was arbitrary, is still in effect, although the point of viability has changed as medical science has found ways to help premature babies survive.

Liberal critiques

Liberal and feminist legal scholars have had various reactions to Roe, not always giving the decision unqualified support. One reaction has been to argue that Justice Blackmun reached the correct result but went about it the wrong way. Another reaction has been to argue that the end achieved by Roe does not justify the means.

Justice John Paul Stevens
John Paul Stevens
John Paul Stevens served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from December 19, 1975 until his retirement on June 29, 2010. At the time of his retirement, he was the oldest member of the Court and the third-longest serving justice in the Court's history...

, in a 2007 interview, averred that Roe "create[d] a new doctrine that really didn’t make sense," and lamented that if Justice Blackmun "could have written a better opinion[, that] ... might have avoided some of the criticism." His colleague Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton and took the oath of office on August 10, 1993. She is the second female justice and the first Jewish female justice.She is generally viewed as belonging to...

 had, before joining the Court, criticized the decision for terminating a nascent democratic movement to liberalize abortion law
Abortion law
Abortion law is legislation and common law which pertains to the provision of abortion. Abortion has been a controversial subject in many societies through history because of the moral, ethical, practical, and political power issues that surround it. It has been banned frequently and otherwise...

. Watergate
Watergate scandal
The Watergate scandal was a political scandal during the 1970s in the United States resulting from the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration's attempted cover-up of its involvement...

 prosecutor Archibald Cox
Archibald Cox
Archibald Cox, Jr., was an American lawyer and law professor who served as U.S. Solicitor General under President John F. Kennedy. He became known as the first special prosecutor for the Watergate scandal. During his career, he was a pioneering expert on labor law and also an authority on...

 wrote: "[Roe’s] failure to confront the issue in principled terms leaves the opinion to read like a set of hospital rules and regulations.... Neither historian, nor layman, nor lawyer will be persuaded that all the prescriptions of Justice Blackmun are part of the Constitution."

In a 1973 article in the Yale Law Journal
Yale Law Journal
The Yale Law Journal is a student-run law review affiliated with the Yale Law School. Published continuously since 1891, it is the most widely known of the eight law reviews published by students at Yale Law School...

, Professor John Hart Ely
John Hart Ely
John Hart Ely is one of the most widely-cited legal scholars in United States history, ranking just after Richard Posner, Ronald Dworkin, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., according to a 2000 study in the University of Chicago's Journal of Legal Studies.-Biography:Born in New York City, John Hart...

 criticized Roe as a decision which "is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be." Ely added: "What is frightening about Roe is that this super-protected right is not inferable from the language of the Constitution, the framers’ thinking respecting the specific problem in issue, any general value derivable from the provisions they included, or the nation’s governmental structure." Professor Laurence Tribe
Laurence Tribe
Laurence Henry Tribe is a professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School and the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University. He also works with the firm Massey & Gail LLP on a variety of matters....

 had similar thoughts: "One of the most curious things about Roe is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found." Liberal law professors Alan Dershowitz
Alan Dershowitz
Alan Morton Dershowitz is an American lawyer, jurist, and political commentator. He has spent most of his career at Harvard Law School where in 1967, at the age of 28, he became the youngest full professor of law in its history...

, Cass Sunstein
Cass Sunstein
Cass R. Sunstein is an American legal scholar, particularly in the fields of constitutional law, administrative law, environmental law, and law and behavioral economics, who currently is the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration...

, and
Kermit Roosevelt
Kermit Roosevelt III
Kermit "Kim" Roosevelt III is a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and author of The Myth of Judicial Activism and the D.C. legal thriller In the Shadow of the Law .-Early life:Kim Roosevelt III was born in Washington, D.C...

 have also expressed disappointment with Roe.

Jeffrey Rosen
Jeffrey Rosen
Jeffrey Rosen is an American academic and commentator on legal affairs. Legal historian David Garrow has called him "the nation's most widely read and influential legal commentator."-Biography:...

 and Michael Kinsley
Michael Kinsley
Michael Kinsley is an American political journalist, commentator, television host, and pundit. Primarily active in print media as both a writer and editor, he also became known to television audiences as a co-host on Crossfire...

 echo Ginsburg, arguing that a democratic movement would have been the correct way to build a more durable consensus in support of abortion rights. William Saletan
William Saletan
William Saletan is the national correspondent at Slate.com. Saletan gained recognition in the fall of 2004 with nearly daily columns covering the ups and downs of the Presidential race. He currently writes the 'Human Nature' column...

 wrote that "Blackmun’s [Supreme Court] papers vindicate every indictment of Roe: invention, overreach, arbitrariness, textual indifference." Benjamin Wittes
Benjamin Wittes
Benjamin Wittes is a fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he is Research Director in Public Law. Wittes is also a member of the Hoover Institution's Task Force on National Security and Law...

 has written that Roe "disenfranchised millions of conservatives on an issue about which they care deeply". And Edward Lazarus
Edward Lazarus
Edward Lazarus is a lawyer and writer who was named Chief of Staff of the Federal Communications Commission on June 29, 2009. He went to the FCC from the Los Angeles office of the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld....

, a former Blackmun clerk who "loved Roe’s author like a grandfather" wrote: "As a matter of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible....Justice Blackmun’s opinion provides essentially no reasoning in support of its holding. And in the almost 30 years since Roe’s announcement, no one has produced a convincing defense of Roe on its own terms."

Public opinion

A Gallup poll conducted in May 2009 indicates that a minority of Americans, 37%, believe that abortion should be legal in any or most circumstances, compared to 41% in May 2008. Similarly, an April 2009 Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
The Pew Research Center is an American think tank organization based in Washington, D.C. that provides information on issues, attitudes and trends shaping the United States and the world. The Center and its projects receive funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts. In 1990, Donald S...

 poll showed a softening of support for legal abortion compared to the previous years of polling. People who said they support abortion in all or most cases dropped from 54% in 2008 to 46% in 2009.

In contrast, an October 2007 Harris
Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive , headquartered in New York, New York, is a custom market research firm, known for the Harris Poll. Harris works in a wide range of industries...

 poll on Roe v. Wade asked the following question:
In reply, 56 percent of respondents indicated favour while 40 percent indicated opposition. The Harris organization concluded from this poll that "56 percent now favours the U.S. Supreme Court decision." Pro-life activists have disputed whether the Harris poll question is a valid measure of public opinion about Roe's overall decision, because the question focuses only on the first three months of pregnancy. The Harris poll has tracked public opinion about Roe since 1973:
Regarding the Roe decision as a whole, more Americans support it than support overturning it. When pollsters describe various regulations that Roe prevents legislatures from enacting, support for Roe drops.

Role in subsequent decisions and politics

Opposition to Roe on the bench grew when President Reagan—who supported legislative restrictions on abortion—began making federal judicial appointments in 1981. Reagan denied that there was any litmus test
Litmus test (politics)
A litmus test is a question asked of a potential candidate for high office, the answer to which would determine whether the nominating official would proceed with the appointment or nomination...

: "I have never given a litmus test to anyone that I have appointed to the bench…. I feel very strongly about those social issues, but I also place my confidence in the fact that the one thing that I do seek are judges that will interpret the law and not write the law. We've had too many examples in recent years of courts and judges legislating."

In addition to White and Rehnquist, Reagan appointee Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O'Connor is an American jurist who was the first female member of the Supreme Court of the United States. She served as an Associate Justice from 1981 until her retirement from the Court in 2006. O'Connor was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981...

 began dissenting from the Court's abortion cases, arguing in 1983 that the trimester-based analysis devised by the Roe Court was "unworkable." Shortly before his retirement from the bench, Chief Justice Warren Burger suggested in 1986 that Roe be "reexamined"; the associate justice who filled Burger's place on the Court—Justice Antonin Scalia
Antonin Scalia
Antonin Gregory Scalia is an American jurist who serves as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. As the longest-serving justice on the Court, Scalia is the Senior Associate Justice...

—vigorously opposed Roe. Concern about overturning Roe played a major role in the defeat of Robert Bork
Robert Bork
Robert Heron Bork is an American legal scholar who has advocated the judicial philosophy of originalism. Bork formerly served as Solicitor General, Acting Attorney General, and judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit...

's nomination to the Court in 1987; the man eventually appointed to replace Roe-supporter Lewis Powell was Anthony M. Kennedy.

The Supreme Court of Canada
Supreme Court of Canada
The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court of Canada and is the final court of appeals in the Canadian justice system. The court grants permission to between 40 and 75 litigants each year to appeal decisions rendered by provincial, territorial and federal appellate courts, and its decisions...

 used the rulings in both Roe and Doe v. Bolton
Doe v. Bolton
Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 , was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court overturning the abortion law of Georgia. The Supreme Court's decision was released on January 22, 1973, the same day as the decision in the better-known case of Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S...

as grounds to find Canada's federal law restricting access to abortions unconstitutional. That Canadian case, R. v. Morgentaler
R. v. Morgentaler
R. v. Morgentaler [1988] 1 S.C.R. 30 was a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada wherein the abortion provision in the Criminal Code of Canada was found to be unconstitutional, as it violated a woman's right under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to "security of person"...

, was decided in 1988.

Webster v. Reproductive Health Services

In a 5-4 decision in 1989's Webster v. Reproductive Health Services
Webster v. Reproductive Health Services
Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490 , was a United States Supreme Court decision on July 3, 1989 upholding a Missouri law that imposed restrictions on the use of state funds, facilities, and employees in performing, assisting with, or counseling on abortions...

, Chief Justice Rehnquist, writing for the Court, declined to explicitly overrule Roe, because "none of the challenged provisions of the Missouri Act properly before us conflict with the Constitution." In this case, the Court upheld several abortion restrictions, and modified the Roe trimester framework.

In concurring opinions, O'Connor refused to reconsider Roe, and Justice Antonin Scalia
Antonin Scalia
Antonin Gregory Scalia is an American jurist who serves as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. As the longest-serving justice on the Court, Scalia is the Senior Associate Justice...

 criticized the Court and O'Connor for not overruling Roe. Blackmun author of the Roe opinion stated in his dissent that White, Kennedy and Rehnquist were "callous" and "deceptive," that they deserved to be charged with "cowardice and illegitimacy," and that their plurality opinion "foments disregard for the law." White had recently opined that the majority reasoning in Roe v. Wade was "warped."

Planned Parenthood v. Casey

Roe supporters William J. Brennan and Thurgood Marshall
Thurgood Marshall
Thurgood Marshall was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, serving from October 1967 until October 1991...

 retired from the Court in 1990 and 1991, respectively. They were replaced by David Souter
David Souter
David Hackett Souter is a former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He served from 1990 until his retirement on June 29, 2009. Appointed by President George H. W. Bush to fill the seat vacated by William J...

, who is pro-choice, and Clarence Thomas
Clarence Thomas
Clarence Thomas is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Succeeding Thurgood Marshall, Thomas is the second African American to serve on the Court....

, who is pro-life. Thus, Roe was viewed for the first time as being in danger. During the confirmation hearings of David Souter, NOW
National Organization for Women
The National Organization for Women is the largest feminist organization in the United States. It was founded in 1966 and has a membership of 500,000 contributing members. The organization consists of 550 chapters in all 50 U.S...

 president Molly Yard
Molly Yard
Mary Alexander "Molly" Yard was an American feminist of the late 20th century, who, through service as an assistant to Eleanor Roosevelt in the middle of the century and later work as a U.S...

 declared that confirming Souter would mean "ending freedom for women in this country."

According to NPR, in deliberations for Planned Parenthood v. Casey
Planned Parenthood v. Casey
Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in which the constitutionality of several Pennsylvania state regulations regarding abortion were challenged...

(1992), an initial majority of five Justices that would have overturned Roe foundered when Justice Kennedy
Anthony Kennedy
Anthony McLeod Kennedy is an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, having been appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. Since the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor, Kennedy has often been the swing vote on many of the Court's politically charged 5–4 decisions...

 switched sides. O'Connor, Kennedy, and Souter joined Blackmun and Stevens to reaffirm the central holding of Roe, saying, "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life." Justices Rehnquist, Scalia, White and Thomas would have overturned Roe. Only Justice Blackmun would have retained Roe entirely and struck down all aspects of the statute at issue in Casey.

Scalia's dissent acknowledged that abortion rights are of "great importance to many women", but asserted that it is not a liberty protected by the Constitution, because the Constitution does not mention it, and because longstanding traditions have permitted it to be legally proscribed. Scalia concluded: "[B]y foreclosing all democratic outlet for the deep passions this issue arouses, by banishing the issue from the political forum that gives all participants, even the losers, the satisfaction of a fair hearing and an honest fight, by continuing the imposition of a rigid national rule instead of allowing for regional differences, the Court merely prolongs and intensifies the anguish."

Stenberg v. Carhart

During the 1990s, Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

 attempted to ban a certain second-trimester abortion procedure known as intact dilation and extraction
Intact dilation and extraction
Intact dilation and extraction is a procedure done in late term abortion. It is also known as intact dilation and evacuation, dilation and extraction , intrauterine cranial decompression and, vernacularly in the United States, as partial birth abortion...

 (sometimes called partial birth abortion). The Nebraska ban allowed other second-trimester abortion procedures called dilation and evacuation
Dilation and evacuation
Dilation and evacuation literally refers to the dilation of the cervix and surgical evacuation of the contents of the uterus...

 abortions. Ginsburg (who replaced White) stated, "this law does not save any fetus from destruction, for it targets only 'a method of performing abortion'." The Supreme Court struck down the Nebraska ban by a 5-4 vote in Stenberg v. Carhart
Stenberg v. Carhart
Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 , is a case heard by the Supreme Court of the United States dealing with a Nebraska law which made performing partial-birth abortion illegal, except where necessary to save the life of the mother. Nebraska physicians who performed the procedure contrary to the law...

(2000), citing a right to use the safest method of second trimester abortion.

Kennedy, who had co-authored the 5-4 Casey decision upholding Roe, was among the dissenters in Stenberg, writing that Nebraska had done nothing unconstitutional. Kennedy described the second trimester abortion procedure that Nebraska was not seeking to prohibit: "The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn from limb from limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off." Kennedy wrote that since this dilation and evacuation procedure remained available in Nebraska, the state was free to ban the other procedure sometimes called "partial birth abortion."

The remaining three dissenters in Stenberg Thomas, Scalia, and Rehnquist disagreed again with Roe: "Although a State may permit abortion, nothing in the Constitution dictates that a State must do so."

Gonzales v. Carhart

In 2003, Congress passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act
Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act
The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 is a United States law prohibiting a form of late-term abortion that the Act calls "partial-birth abortion", often referred to in medical literature as intact dilation and extraction...

, which led to a lawsuit in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart
Gonzales v. Carhart
Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124 , is a United States Supreme Court case that upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. The case reached the high court after U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appealed a ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in favor of...

. The Court had previously ruled in Stenberg v. Carhart
Stenberg v. Carhart
Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 , is a case heard by the Supreme Court of the United States dealing with a Nebraska law which made performing partial-birth abortion illegal, except where necessary to save the life of the mother. Nebraska physicians who performed the procedure contrary to the law...

that a state's ban on "partial birth abortion" was unconstitutional because such a ban would not allow for the health of the woman. The membership of the Court changed after Stenberg, with John Roberts and Samuel Alito
Samuel Alito
Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. is an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was nominated by President George W. Bush and has served on the court since January 31, 2006....

 replacing Rehnquist and O'Connor, respectively. Further, the ban at issue in Gonzales v. Carhart was a clear federal statute, rather than a relatively vague state statute as in the Stenberg case.

On April 18, 2007, the Supreme Court handed down a 5 to 4 decision upholding the constitutionality of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, asserting that Congress was within its power to generally ban the procedure, although the Court left the door open for as-applied challenges. Kennedy's opinion did not reach the question whether the Court's prior decisions in Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and Stenberg v. Carhart were valid, and instead the Court said that the challenged statute is consistent with those prior decisions whether or not those prior decisions were valid.

Joining the majority were Chief Justice John Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. Ginsburg and the other three justices dissented, contending that the ruling ignored Supreme Court abortion precedent, and also offering an equality-based justification for that abortion precedent. Thomas filed a concurring opinion, joined by Scalia, contending that the Court's prior decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey should be reversed, and also noting that the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act may exceed the powers of Congress under the Commerce Clause
Commerce Clause
The Commerce Clause is an enumerated power listed in the United States Constitution . The clause states that the United States Congress shall have power "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes." Courts and commentators have tended to...

.

Activities of Norma McCorvey

Norma McCorvey
Norma McCorvey
Norma Leah McCorvey , better known by the legal pseudonym "Jane Roe", was the plaintiff in the landmark American lawsuit Roe v. Wade in 1973. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned individual states' laws against abortion by ruling them unconstitutional...

 became a member of the pro-life movement in 1995; she now supports making abortion illegal. In 1998, she testified to Congress:
As a party to the original litigation, she sought to reopen the case in U.S. District Court
United States district court
The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States...

 in Texas to have Roe v. Wade overturned. However, the Fifth Circuit decided that her case was moot, in McCorvey v. Hill
McCorvey v. Hill
McCorvey v. Hill, 385 F.3d 846 , was a case in which the principal original litigant in Roe v. Wade, Norma McCorvey, also known as 'Jane Roe', requested the overturning of Roe. The U.S...

. In a concurring opinion, Judge Edith Jones
Edith Jones
Edith Hollan Jones is the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.Jones graduated from Cornell University in 1971. She received her J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law in 1974...

 agreed that McCorvey was raising legitimate questions about emotional and other harm suffered by women who have had abortions, about increased resources available for the care of unwanted children, and about new scientific understanding of fetal development, but Jones said she was compelled to agree that the case was moot. On February 22, 2005, the Supreme Court refused to grant a writ of certiorari
Certiorari
Certiorari is a type of writ seeking judicial review, recognized in U.S., Roman, English, Philippine, and other law. Certiorari is the present passive infinitive of the Latin certiorare...

, and McCorvey's appeal ended.

Presidential positions

President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 did not publicly comment about the decision. In private conversation later revealed as part of the Nixon tapes, Nixon said "There are times when an abortion is necessary, I know that. When you have a black and a white" (a reference to interracial pregnancies) "or a rape." However, Nixon was also concerned that greater access to abortions would foster "permissiveness," and said that "it breaks the family."

Generally, presidential opinion has been split between major party lines. The Roe decision was opposed by Presidents
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

, Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, and George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

. President George H.W. Bush also opposed Roe, though he had supported abortion rights earlier in his career.

President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 supported legal abortion from an early point in his political career, in order to prevent birth defects and in other extreme cases; he encouraged the outcome in Roe and generally supported abortion rights. Roe was also supported by President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

. President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 has taken the position that "Abortions should be legally available in accordance with Roe v. Wade."

State laws regarding Roe

Several states have enacted so-called trigger law
Trigger law
A trigger law is a nickname for a law that is unenforceable and irrelevant in the present, but may achieve relevance and enforceability if a key change circumstances occur.-Examples:...

s which would take effect in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned. Those states include Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota. Additionally, many states did not repeal pre-1973 statutes that criminalized abortion, and some of those statutes could again be in force if Roe was reversed.

Other states have passed laws to maintain the legality of abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Those states include California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Nevada and Washington.

See also

  • Birth control movement in the United States
    Birth control movement in the United States
    The birth control movement in the United States was a social reform campaign to make contraception legal in America. The movement began in 1914 when a group of radicals in New York City, led by Emma Goldman, Mary Dennett, and Margaret Sanger, became concerned about the plight of poor women, who...

  • Doe v. Bolton
    Doe v. Bolton
    Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 , was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court overturning the abortion law of Georgia. The Supreme Court's decision was released on January 22, 1973, the same day as the decision in the better-known case of Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S...

  • List of United States Supreme Court cases, volume 410
  • Pro-Choice
    Pro-choice
    Support for the legalization of abortion is centered around the pro-choice movement, a sociopolitical movement supporting the ethical view that a woman should have the legal right to elective abortion, meaning the right to terminate her pregnancy....

  • Pro-Life
    Pro-life
    Opposition to the legalization of abortion is centered around the pro-life, or anti-abortion, movement, a social and political movement opposing elective abortion on moral grounds and supporting its legal prohibition or restriction...

  • Roe effect
    Roe effect
    The Roe effect is a theory about the long-term effect of abortion on the political balance of the United States, which suggests that since supporters of abortion rights cause the erosion of their own political base, the practice of abortion will eventually lead to the restriction or illegalization...

  • Dubay v. Wells - this is considered, by the National Coalition for Men, to be the Roe v. Wade for men
  • A, B and C v Ireland [2010], the leading decision on abortion in the European Court of Human Rights
    European Court of Human Rights
    The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or...



External links

  • Full text of opinion with links to cited material

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