Sunday, July 14, 2024

Roe v. Wade – The Case that Defined American Abortion Laws

Written By Suhani Khemka (Grade 9)

On 22nd January 1973, the Supreme Court of USA announced its decision to rule the Texas law which made abortion illegal unless the women’s life was at stake. Roe v. Wade case enabled the court to recognize that the decision of a woman of whether to terminate or not to terminate her pregnancy was protected by the constitutional right to privacy. 

Norma McCorvey, known by the pseudonym Jane Roe, challenged the state’s abortion laws as a 22-year-old. She was opposed by Henry Wade – an American lawyer. and hence the case came to be known as “Roe v. Wade”. 

Roe had had a traumatic past and drug abuse issues. She wanted an abortion in her third pregnancy, but it was illegal in 33 out of 50 American states including Texas. On being approached by lawyers (Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee) to file a case against Texas laws which took away the right to abortion. The case was passed over to the Supreme Court and ended with Roe winning. The judgement gave women the right to abortion on basis of the right to privacy. 

On June 24, 2022, the US supreme court overturned the Roe v Wade decision after 50 years since the right that the landmark decision protects is not a part of the constitution.  8 states including Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma, and Alabama have banned abortion and some states have enforced a 6-weeks and 15-weeks ban after the overturning of Roe v Wade. This has given rise to protests and rallies all over the country. While some states are banning abortion, some are strengthening the abortion laws such as Colorado, Maine, and North Carolina. 

Majority of the citizens are against the overruling since women should have the right to make decisions about their body. People are protesting with flyers reading “My body, my choice”, “Bans off our bodies”. 

The overruling of the Roe v wade decision has taken away the basic right of abortion from women putting many in a dilemma of choosing between an unwanted child and unsafe abortion.

Featured Image Courtesy – Encyclopedia Britannica

Suhani Khemka
Suhani Khemka
Hey from Kolkata! I am an animal lover filled with wanderlust. Food has a special place in my heart, eating and cooking both! I find comfort in reading, writing and expressing myself through poetry. You will often find me painting with music blasting in my ears.


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