Roe v. Wade was a monumental decision made by the Supreme Court on the issue of abortion.
The case began when a pregnant single woman, designated as Roe, brought a class action lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of Texas’ criminal abortion laws. These laws made it illegal to obtain or attempt an abortion, except upon receiving medical advice to save the
life of the mother.
The three other plaintiffs in the lawsuit included Hallford, a doctor who was facing prosecution for violating those state abortion laws, along with a married couple designated as the Does. The Does wanted to prohibit the enforcement of the abortion laws, under the warrant that they were unconstitutional.
The three cases were argued together in a three-judge District Court panel. Roe and Hallford won their lawsuits at trial, but the court ruled that the Does’ request for an injunction was not warranted. The Does appealed directly to the Supreme Court, and Wade, the defendant for the county, cross-appealed the district court’s ruling in favor of Roe and Hallford, contesting the decision of the district court.
The Supreme Court held that the decision must be left to the judgment of the woman’s doctor. Although, states may promote their interests in the mother’s health by regulating abortion procedures related to the health of the mother. States may even go as far as to promote their interests in the potentiality of human life by regulating or even prohibiting abortion, except when necessary to preserve the life or the health of the mother.
This ruling effectively made abortion legal for any reason if requested before the 24th week of pregnancy.
Abortion has become a focal point for debate in the U.S. because it is such a serious issue with ranging opinions on the matter. Flyer News has asked for two students to debate the topic within the Opinions section.