Roe v. Wade

Facts

TX had abortion laws that made it a crime for a mother to proceed with an abortion without the medical advice of a doctor that doing so would save the life of the mother.  Roe, an anonymous plaintiff, sought the invalidation of the TX law along with her doctor who was joined as a co-plaintiff and another married couple.  The district court held the TX statutes were void and infringed upon the 9th and 14th amendments.

Issue

Whether the 14th amendment or due process clause protects a woman’s right to privacy, such that there is a constitutional right to an abortion.

Holding/Analysis

Yes, the constitution recognizes a right to privacy.  State laws that restrict the mother’s right  in the first trimester violate her private choice as to her own pregnancy’s outcome.  States are free to exercise regulations within the second trimesters and in later stages as the fetus becomes more viable.  The woman’s right to privacy in the first semester supersedes the state’s legitimate interest in preserving human life or any other governmental interest, but the state’s interest supersedes the woman’s right to privacy in later trimesters.  Moreover, abortions are relatively safe in the first trimester, thereby enhancing the female’s right and reducing the state’s proclaimed interest in protecting the health of its citizens.

Leave a Reply