Friday, September 17, 2021

Abortion law in U.S.A.

Abortion law in U.S.A.

Roe v. Wade 1973

410 U.S. 113 (1973)

Roe v. Wade was a 1971 - 1973 landmark decision by the US Supreme Court. 

The decision divided the nation and is still controversial today. People divided into pro-life and pro-choice groups. 

The court ruled that a state law that banned abortions, was unconstitutional.

The decision said that a woman's right to privacy extended to the fetus/unborn child she was carrying.

In the view of the court, during the first trimester an abortion was no more dangerous.

Human pregnancy is divided into three parts called trimesters. A trimester is about three months long. 

 A miscarriage (spontaneous abortion) is when the baby dies before it is born. 

A stillbirth is when the baby is dead when it is born.


In 1970 a pregnant Texas woman, Norma McCorvey (alias Jane Roe), brought a lawsuit against Henry Wade, Dallas County District Attorney, in a Texas federal court.

Alleging she was a single woman and pregnant, McCorvey wanted to terminate her pregnancy. But the Texas law prohibits abortion in the State of Texas.

Her lawsuit claimed that the Texas law violated her right to privacy, protected by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments.

The US SC held that - the decision of the SC allowed a woman to decide whether to keep or abort the fetus/unborn child during the first trimester.

In a 7-2 decision, the court held that a woman's right to an abortion was protected by her right to privacy under the Fourteenth Amendment.


In its decision, the court used the three trimester framework of pregnancy.  During the first trimester an abortion was safer for the mother than childbirth.

During the second trimester laws could regulate abortion only to protect the health of the mother.[

During the third trimester the unborn child was viable (able to live on its own outside the mother's womb).[10] So laws could restrict or prohibit abortions except in cases where it was necessary to preserve the mother's health. 


Fetal viability is a medical and a legal term. It describes the ability of an unborn child to survive outside the womb. For the first three months of pregnancy, the unborn child is called embryo, after that it is called fetus.

Usually, children are born after 40 weeks of pregnancy. Very few children are born before the mother reaches 24 weeks of pregnancy. If they are born alive, very few will survive. 


Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), 

By this judgement it reviewed Roe vs Wade case and  thereby allowing States to implement abortion restrictions that apply during the first trimester of pregnancy.


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