What Happened in the Roe V. Wade Case?


Quick Answer

In 1971, Norma McCorvey, who was called Jane Roe in court documents, sued Henry Wade, district attorney in Dallas County, for enforcing the Texas prohibition of abortion. Texas allowed abortion only to save a woman's life.

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Full Answer

On January 23, 1973, the Supreme Court upheld Roe's contention that the U.S. Constitution protects the right of women to obtain abortions under the 14th Amendment right to privacy. The ruling specifically granted women the right to abortions at any time during pregnancy, but it included the caveat that defined a state's level of abortion regulation during the second and third trimesters. Roe gave birth while waiting for the Supreme Court ruling, and she gave the baby up for adoption.

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