Intro to the Legal Process
Roe vs. Wade
Norma McCorvey and various pro-abortion organizations challenged the Texas abortion laws in court. Texas Abortion Laws, then, legally permitted abortion only to save the life of the mother. After becoming pregnant in1969, McCorvey, saying she had been raped, thought that she would be able to receive a legal abortion, instead she was denied relief. Attorneys Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington filed suit in a U.S. District Court in Texas on her behalf. Henry Wade was the district attorney for Dallas County, Texas, who defended the law initially in 1970, finally reaching the Supreme Court in 1973. In its decision, the Supreme Court declared that certain State Laws restricting or limiting abortion past the first trimester of pregnancy were "unconstitutional.” Legalized abortion was demanded throughout the United States. The Court referred to the Plaintiff as "Jane Roe" to protect her privacy. Thus the case was famously known as "Roe versus Wade".
Roe initially sued the defendant district attorney, Wade, claiming that the Texas statutes were indistinct and that they prevented a right of personal privacy. She claimed she had been denied her Ninth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to privacy and dominion of choice as to whether to have children. Roe alleged she was unable to get a “legal” abortion in Texas because Texas statutes make it a crime to "procure an abortion" if her life did not appear to be threatened by the continuation of her pregnancy. Roe’s attorneys professed that her case was on behalf of all women similarly situated.
Legislation regarding pregnant women and abortion is under the Texas State jurisdiction and has been since 1854. The language of the statute had remained unchanged for a century. Certain State statutes declaring abortions illegal forced women to travel to where it was legal to receive abortions.
In June 1970 the District Court for the Northern...