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Roe Vs. Wade

Essay by   •  March 25, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,430 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,368 Views

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Roe vs. Wade was a controversial decision made in the United States Supreme Court on the subject of abortion, that also became a milestone for women's rights. The case began when a single mother of two Norma L. McCorvey, aliased as Jane Roe for protectional purposes, found out she was pregnant with her third child. Not being able to support another child and making the decision to abort, Roe met with attorneys Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington to represent her, in 1970 they filed a suit in a United States District Court of Texas on her behalf. Texas laws up until that point only allowed abortion when the life of the woman was endangered, not in the instances of rape or incest. So for the duration of the trail Roe and her attorneys claimed that these laws in question were not only un-constitutional based on the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution but also restricted women's rights.

Representing Texas was Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade. The district court ended up declining Roe's gesture to grant a injunction with their decision based on the 9th Amendment of the United States Constitution and Griswold vs. Connecticut's Arthur Goldberg's statement that citizens have the right to use a contraceptive. Ultimately Roe vs. Wade ended up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on appeal. The first round of debate was too soon for Justices William Rehnquist and Lewis F. Powell Jr who joined the Supreme Court too late to hear the opposition so Chief Justice Warren Burger proposed the case be pushed to be argued at a later date. It resumed on October 11th, 1972, Weddington still representing Roe and Texas Assistant Attorney General taking place of Wade. Upon continuation the U.S. Supreme Court declined the U.S. District Court of Texas Ninth Amendment notion stating "right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the district court determined, in the Ninth Amendment's reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy." They soon after issued their verdict on January 22nd, 1973 with a 7-to-2 vote in favor of Roe, deeming abortion to be a fundamental right under the United States Constitution and that all laws attempting to restrict such rights "strict scrutiny".

During the case which lasted nearly 2 years, Jane gave birth to the child in question which was given surprisingly little attention due to how the case had changed from a personal battle to one that reached further into society. It had become a matter of religious beliefs, morality, and not only civil rights but women's rights for equality. Normally in a case like this her appeal would have become a "moot" because of the fact that it's legal proceedings would have no effect, and she also lacked "standing" since she no longer had the ability to represent a party to the court because she could no longer assert the rights of other pregnant women so the justifiability was challenged by such a untraditional court case.

While both sides of the spectrum differ dramatically both sides have valid arguments that align with their beliefs:

Take Roe's side of the argument, for example, she came from a broken family full of abusive drunkards, she's a single mother and may be emotionally and financially unable to bring another child into this world, should the right to abort not be listed under her civil liberties? Should the United States Constitution not recognize the importance of her making a decision that effects not only her own but another's life to be? I would assume the State wouldn't say that adoption is any better an option. Where the baby may or may not be place in a loving home with the necessities it needs. Better yet shouldn't every woman under the United States Constitution have it in their rights to terminate their own pregnancy if they are raped? And that is exactly where Roe's point lies not just to get her own (which didn't happen) but to make sure that any woman who came to the fork in the road had the OPTION. That does not mean they HAVE to take that option but it should be covered in our rights, because it's these grey patches that make the difference in morality but it's these same grey patches that are irrelevant at the same time because as a civil right it IS either black or white. We either have it or

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