Roe vs. Wade
Many topics brought about controversy in the feminist movement, but none brought about as much controversy as the right to an abortion. There were no federal laws on abortion in 1960, but many states enforced laws stating that women could not have an abortion unless it was for the own health of the mother. Although there was always controversy about this specific topic, a federal case for abortion did not begin until 1970 and was finally decided in 1973. The right to an abortion was definitely not the most important decision ever made by the Supreme Court, but it was and still remains the most recognized and debated topic to this day. The case started in Texas, where Norma McCorvey, whom went by the name Jane Roe, challenged the law stating that no type of abortion was allowed unless the mother’s own life was in danger. She claimed that this law violated her constitutional rights. “Roe claimed that while her life was not endangered, she could not afford to travel out of state and had a right to terminate her pregnancy in a safe medical environment.” (McBride) The lawsuit was filed against Henry Wade, a Dallas Country District Attorney. The Texas court ruled that the law violated the Constitution. Wade appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and they continued to review the case in 1971 and 1972. There was a 7-2 decision that the court ruled that the Texas law violated Roe’s constitutional right to privacy. “The Constitutions First, Fourth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual's "zone of privacy" against state laws and cited past cases ruling that marriage, contraception, and child rearing are activities covered in this "zone of privacy." The Court then argued that the "zone of privacy" was "broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy." This decision involved myriad physical, psychological, and economic stresses a pregnant woman must face.” (McBride) Abortions are within a woman’s “zone of...
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