Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Roe v. Wade

Case Name: Roe v. Wade

Year: 1973

Result: 7-2, favor Roe

Related Constitutional Issue/Amendment: Fourteenth Amendment, Due Process

Civil Rights or Civil Liberties: Civil Rights

Significance/Precedent: The Court held that abortion rights were part of a woman's right to privacy and established that the state could have no involvement in a woman's first trimester. In the second trimester, the state could only regulate abortion reasonably and in the third it could limit or even prohibit abortions, except in the case where the woman's life is endangered by the pregnancy. This was seen as a "pro-abortion" ruling and has attracted a lot of controversy surrounding abortion and women's rights.

Quote from Majority Opinion: "This 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."

Summary of the Dissent: The dissent argued that abortion does not fall within the right to privacy or the Fourteenth Amendment and since the founders could not foresee this issue it could not be traced back to any sort of constitutional right.
Quote: "The decision here to break pregnancy into three distinct terms and to outline the permissible restrictions the State may impose in each one, for example, partakes more of judicial legisaltion than it does of a determination of the intent of the drafters of the Fourteenth Amendment."

Six-word Summary: Abortion falls within right to privacy

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