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This case was filed by Norma McCorvey, later known as Jane Roe. She wanted an abortion at the time because she was unmarried and pregnant, but Texas did not permit it. She filed against Henry Wade, a district attorney of Dallas County, who enforced a Texas law that prohibited abortion, unless to save the mother’s life. She tried to get an abortion by falsely claiming she was raped because at that time abortions were legal in extreme cases. Since no police report was present to prove it, her alternative was an illegal abortion. Before she was able to get the procedure the police had shut down the illegal clinic. Norma then sought out to find an attorney when she found the perfect match. Two young attorneys named Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee to sue for the right of pro choice. The two accepted Norma’s case and named their plaintiff “Jane Roe” in sake of her identity. March of 1970, Coffee filed a complaint, Roe v. Wade, at the Dallas federal district courthouse, suing the State of Texas over the constitutionality of its abortion laws.
The district court voted for Roe because the Texas laws were too vague and violate the Ninth and the Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The Ninth Amendment secures citizens’ rights that are not listed in the Constitution, in this case, the right to privacy. In the Fourteenth Amendment, it states that no State can curtail a citizen’s fundamental rights without due process. One argument Norma’s attorneys made was that this also violated woman’s right to decide to have children or not. The case was appealed and the U.S. Supreme Court now had a say. On January 22, 1973, the Court decided in favor of Roe, declaring:“ This 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” (Sacred Texts). After all this work for Norma to get an abortion, she gave birth before the Supreme Court delivered a ruling; that child was immediately adopted. The district court ruled in her favor in 1970. Today Roe v. Wade remains as controversial as the day it began.
My opinion on how this case decision affects society:
I feel that this court case decision is one the the more important cases because it I personally am not on one side or the other in this case because if a woman wants an abortion because she does not feel ready for parenthood she has one of three choices: have the baby, give the baby through adoption, or abortion. No matter what all of these choices could potentially have their own pros and cons. I’m not saying that abortion is the best choice or the first choice that should come to mind, but it should always be an option women can have no matter what. Even to today, Roe v. Wade continues to lie with the Supreme Court and will most likely stay that way for years to come. A trend has uprisen: Republicans have tended to appoint pro-life judges, and Democrats have appointed pro-choice judges. Even though this started in the 1970s the battle remains as fierce as ever.
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