The case of Roe v. Wade started back in the state of Texas. This was where a single pregnant woman brought a class action challenging the constitutionality of the Texas abortion laws. This is where in Texas it is a criminal offense to have an abortion. The case got to the Supreme Court by way of the district court by the state of Texas appealing to the Supreme Court to over turn the ruling of the district court. The district court found that Roe did have grounds to file the suit against the state of Texas. This was on the grounds that the abortion laws in Texas infringed on the ninth and fourteenth amendments of the constitution.
The case was brought to the Supreme Court based on a woman who had sought to get an abortion in the state of Texas. She sought out a doctor named Hallford, who had done many other abortions in other states. Hallford subsequently at the time of the trial was pending two other abortion prosecutions against him. The main theory that Roe argued before the Supreme Court was the fact that outlawing abortion was infringing on a woman’s right to privacy. These rights are covered under the ninth and fourteenth amendments of the constitution. Roe questioned on whether or not the state of Texas could pass a law that infringed on these rights, if abortion was covered under these rights at all. Texas had stated that an abortion was only legal when the mother’s life was threatened.
The case was brought before the Supreme Court because it handled a law that could be unconstitutional. The mail issue before the Supreme Court was on whether or not a woman’s right to an abortion was covered under the constitution. Does the Constitution embrace the right of a woman to obtain an abortion, nullifying the Texas prohibition? If it were covered under the ninth and fourteenth amendments then it would be affecting the whole country.
The Supreme Court in a decision five to four held that abortion was covered under the ninth and fourteenth amendments. The Supreme Court held that a woman’s right to an abortion fell within the right to privacy (recognized in Griswold v. Connecticut) protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision gave a woman a right to abortion during the entirety of the pregnancy and defined different levels of state interest for regulating abortion in the second and third trimesters.
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