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What is ROE vs WADE case? A brief history of US abortion law, before and after Roe v Wade

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The supreme court of the United States of America overturned by 6-3 majority ‘Roe vs wade case’, the court’s landmark 1973 judgment that made abortion a constitutional right on Friday June 24 ,2022.

The decision made from the Roe vs wade case will transform the life of women in America. There has been a total ban on abortion in half of the country’s states which will come in effect soon. Abortion now is only possible during medical emergencies. They named this ban as ‘trigger laws’ and these are to come in effect in many states.

Below is everything that you need to know about Roe Vs Wade case.

What is ‘Roe vs wade case’ ?

roe vs wade case

The beginning of this took place in 19689 in the state of Texas in the US when a 22-year-old woman took her stand in the court. The case ( Roe vs Wade case) is often referred to simply as “Roe”, the listed name of plaintiff, Norma McCovey. ‘Wade’ was the defendant Henry Wade, the Dallas County (Texas) district attorney at the time.

‘Roe’ struck down laws that made abortion illegal in several states, and ruled that abortion would be allowed up to the point of fetal viability, that is, the time after which a fetus can survive outside the womb.

in medicine, fetal visibility means it is the point when fetus can be separated from the womb. It is generally considered 23 to 24 weeks. It is the point where the rights of the unborn fetus and those of the woman can be distinguished from one another. Commonly, the beginning of a person’s most recent menstrual period is used to determine how long a pregnancy is.

Pre-viability timeframes give women extremely little time and chance to decide whether to abort because many people don’t realize they’re pregnant until the sixth week.

This metric is used in abortion regulations all throughout the world, although opponents of abortion claim that it was chosen at random by lawmakers and the court in the “Roe” case.

How it started?

roe vs wade case 2

The roe vs wade case started with Norma McCovey who is the plaintiff of the case and also known as ‘Jane Roe’. When McCovey, was 21 years old, she conceived her third child in September 1969. She had a tough life and dropped out of school in the ninth grade. After a motel maid discovered her and another girl kissing, she was sent to a reform school. (McCovey, who self-identified as a lesbian, had relationships with both men and women).

At 16, she got married for the first time, but after he started hitting her, she filed for divorce. She struggled with drug and alcohol misuse after giving birth to a daughter in 1965, eventually ceding custody to her mother (though whether she did so voluntarily is up for debate). She gave birth to a second kid in 1967 and gave it up for adoption.

“I was a woman alone with no place to go and no job,” McCorvey told the Southern Baptist Convention news service in 1973. “No one wanted to hire a pregnant woman. I felt there was no one in the world who could help me.” She added.

Lacking other choices, McCorvey resorted to Dallas attorneys Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington, who were looking for the ideal client to oppose Texas’ abortion restrictions. McCorvey signed an affidavit in 1970 while five months pregnant, however she afterwards claimed to never have seen it. She simply wanted an abortion right now and had no idea that the situation would go viral, according to Robert D. McFadden of the New York Times.

On March 3, 1970, McCorvey’s attorneys filed the lawsuit at a Dallas federal district courthouse. The case, known as Roe v. Wade, designated McCorvey as “Jane Roe” and named Henry Wade as the defendant, the district attorney in charge of upholding Texas’ abortion regulations.

The abortion regulations in Texas, according to Coffee and Weddington, undermine women’s constitutional right to privacy. Wade and McCorvey’s legal team appealed the district court’s ruling to the Supreme Court after it rejected their plea to halt enforcing the state’s antiquated abortion regulations. By the time the court ruled on Roe, McCorvey’s pregnancy had long since ended. Unable to obtain an abortion, she gave birth to a baby girl on June 2, 1970. She subsequently gave the child up for adoption.

After the Roe ruling, McCorvey—who had ultimately played a minor role in the case—kept her identity as Jane Roe a closely guarded secret for years, even from Connie Gonzalez, her longtime partner.

What supreme court said on Roe v. Wade?

roe vs wade case 3

Details of the ruling were not immediately available, but according to a draught opinion obtained by “Politico,” the opinion’s author, Justice Samuel Alito, rejected “Roe” as “egregiously wrong from the start” and declared that “Roe” and “Casey,” a 1992 landmark abortion ruling by the court that reaffirmed “Roe’s” main tenet that women have the right to terminate pregnancies up to the point of fetal viability.

The “Mississippi case,” also known as ‘Thomas E. Dobbs, State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization’, was the subject of Justice Alito’s majority opinion, which had received the support of four other conservative justices: Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., a sixth justice whose opinions were unknown at the time the “Politico” scoop was published, also voted to overturn “Roe.” Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, three Democratic-appointed justices, disagreed.

According to the majority opinion quoted by Politico, “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives”.

What now?

Conservatives and liberals in the US have been fiercely divided on the subject of abortion for decades.

A challenge to “Roe vs Wade case” would have been unlikely to be successful until a few years ago, but the changes in the Supreme Court’s makeup brought about by the election of conservative Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett during the administration of Donald Trump sparked a new wave of legal action on the subject.

The Supreme Court’s resoundingly conservative majority provided the conservatives with their finest opportunity to overturn “Roe” in decades.

The overturning of “Roe” leaves abortion regulations totally up to the states because there is no federal law safeguarding the right to an abortion in the US. Restrictive regulations that forbade abortions before the Supreme Court established the 1973 fetal viability criterion are likely to be reinstated by conservative states.

According to a previous prediction by The New York Times, legislatures in 22 states would “almost surely” take action to outlaw or severely restrict access to abortion, with poorer women typically bearing the brunt of these actions. According to study based on the results of the closures of abortion facilities in Texas between 2013 and 2016, the number of legal abortions in the US might decrease by at least 14% without the protection of “Roe”.

What is the position of abortion in India?

abortion in india

Since the adoption of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act in 1971, abortion has been permitted in India under a variety of conditions. The Act was changed in 2003 to make it possible for women to receive safe and permissible abortion services.

It allows abortion till 20 weeks of pregnancy. However, the limit on abortions was increased to 24 weeks through a 2021 amendment, but only for specific groups of pregnant women, such as rape or incest survivors, and even then, only with the consent of two licensed physicians.

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terra luna usd
3 months ago

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