1973 – Abortion became legal in the U.S. as the Supreme Court announced its decision in the case of Roe vs. Wade striking down local state laws restricting abortions in the first six months of pregnancy. In more recent rulings (1989 and 1992) the Court upheld the power of individual states to impose some restrictions.
By Patricia Yuu Pan
Roe versus Wade, better known as Roe v. Wade, is the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion within the first two months of pregnancy. Up until then, individual state laws regulated abortions thereby forcing women to illegal clinics or untrained practitioners. The lack of proper medical supervision in these situations was dangerous for the women.
The case was appealed and landed in the U.S. Supreme Court. On January 22, 1973, the Court handed down its decision in favor of Roe, declaring:
[The] right to 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.”
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