Roe v. Wade: A Woman's Choice

Roe v. Wade: A Woman's Choice

Roe v. Wade: A Woman's Choice

Roe v. Wade: A Woman's Choice

Excerpt

On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a woman has a constitutional right to abort a pregnancy. According to the ruling, states and the federal government can ban abortion only in the last three months of a woman's pregnancy.

Known as Roe v. Wade, the sweeping decision said the abortion right is as fundamental as the right to vote or the right to free speech. It struck down antiabortion laws in thirty-one states and required eighteen more to rewrite theirs. Only New York state's liberal law, which allowed women to have abortions without restrictions, remained unaffected by the decision.

Most Supreme Court decisions serve as the final word on a matter. People may object to a ruling, but eventually they accept that a particular decision has become the law of the land. That has not happened with Roe v. Wade. Far from putting the matter to rest, the abortion decision ignited the bitter battle between those who oppose abortion and those who support a woman's right to control her own body.

The protest against abortion turned violent in the late-1980s and early 1990s. A few extreme antiabortion groups began bombing abortion clinics and killing doctors . . .

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