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Abortion Laws: Roe V. Wade Essay

2463 words - 10 pages

In the year 1970, it was illegal for women in many states to get an abortion. One day, a woman named Jane Roe wished to challenge those laws which kept her from getting what she wanted: an abortion. Her stand against these laws was, is, and will always be controversial among American citizens and people around the world. The historical court case in which this occurred was called Roe v. Wade, and was caused by the events of one woman and many factors of the country in which she called home.
Roe v. Wade did not just appear out of nowhere; there were a series of events which led up to the historical court case. These would include Jane Roe and her pregnancy, her search for what she desired, and this court case coming to be. Without these occurrences, Roe would have never had her day, or years, in court.
The actual event that triggered this case was when the plaintiff, Jane Roe, whose real name is Norma McCorvey, realized that she had become pregnant in September 1969 with her third child. Only some years earlier, Roe had had an unsuccessful marriage with an abusive husband that ended with a divorce. After that divorce, she discovered she was pregnant with a child that was the product of the now-ended marriage. She had the child and put it up for adoption. The child was then adopted by Roe’s mother. Following that, Jane Roe battled with drug and alcohol addictions, and became pregnant with a second child, who was placed up for adoption. Subsequently, Roe became pregnant with a third child, who was the child she carried during Roe v. Wade. The third child was also put up for adoption just like the previous children.
After discovering her third pregnancy, Roe sought an abortion. She finds that in the state of Texas, where she lived, abortions are only legal and allowed in cases of rape, incest, and if the fetus is dangerous to the mother’s health or well-being. Learning this, Jane fakes a story of being raped and carrying her rapist’s child, hoping to slide past authorities and achieve an abortion. Her plan was spoiled when police did not believe her story and sent her back home.
Then, while seeking to obtain an illegal abortion, Jane Roe is referred to Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee, two young attorneys just out of law school. Weddington and Coffee were seeking a plaintiff to challenge the Texas abortion law, which went all the way back to 1857. This was a personal subject for Sarah Weddington, because in the 1960s, she had to cross the border into Mexico with her husband in order to receive an abortion herself. Weddington could empathize with McCorvey as no man ever could, and therefore could present her case with passion and insight. They thought they found the perfect candidate for the spot when they met Roe, and they did, when she agreed to participate.
Factors in the country at that time had an impact on this notorious Supreme Court case. Some of these issues would be that abortion at that time was illegal, and that...

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