The Supreme Court Case Of Roe Vs. Wade

1819 words - 7 pages

The Supreme Court Case of Roe vs. Wade

In 1973 the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Roe V. Wade. Jane Roe was a single mother trying to raise one child on a limited income. She was living in Dallas Texas when she became pregnant with another child. There were no medical issues that would have prevented her from carrying this child to full term. The lack of income and already having a child was her deciding factor.
In March of 1970 Jane Roe filed suit against the state of Texas. She declared that the Texas Criminal Abortion Statues were unconstitutional. Jane Roe claimed that the Texas statue was vague and took away her right of personal privacy. These rights were protected by the first, fourth, fifth, ninth and fourteenth amendments as far as Jane Roe was concerned. Roe claimed that she was not suing for herself alone but for all women.
Many cases went before Roe V. Wade but none as famous. To understand Roe V. Wade we first have to look back. Poe V. Ullman (1961), Griswold V. Connecticut (1965), United States V. Vuitch (1971) and Eisenstadt V. Baird (1972). All these cases were about our rights. What right God gave us and what rights are in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The first cases were about ending laws that kept contraceptives out of individual hands. In Griswold V. Connecticut the (8-1) decision was a land breaking mark. It gave the substantive Due Process new life and enhanced our rights to privacy.
Since the beginning of time abortion has been controversial. To some it is a taboo to others it is a right that only a woman can decide for herself. In the thirteenth century the termination of a fetus, no matter what stage of pregnancy was considered a homicide. Later in society abortion was looked at less harshly. By the 1970s abortion was illegal in almost every state. If you had an abortion or performed one you would be prosecuted. The decision whether or not abortion was legal was left up to individual states.
The statues that made abortion a crime in Texas are articles 1191-1194 and 1196 of Texas's penal code. Under these codes the only way a woman can have an abortion is if her life is in danger and she will die if one is not performed. Texas has had anti abortion laws since 1854. The first ever written abortion statue was in England in 1803 it made abortion of a 'quick fetus' a capital crime punishable by death. Lesser punishments for an abortion done before quickening were enacted. 'Quickening' is defined as the fetus's first sign of movement in the womb. This act by Lord Ellenborough was the bases for abortion laws in the United States.
Connecticut was the first state to pass abortion legislation. Although women would not receive the death penalty it would be illegal and not without consequences to terminate a pregnancy for a women 'quick with child'. New York followed Connecticut's lead and also enacted anti abortion laws in 1828. New York made all abortions illegal no...

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