The History of Roe v. Wade

January 22nd, 2020 was the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. This landmark court decision granted women the right to have an abortion. Therefore, the decision allowed women to have greater autonomy over their own bodies and gave them the power of choice. This Supreme Court decision didn’t end the war for reproductive rights in this country, however. Recently multiple states have passed laws of 6-week abortion bans. Though many of these were blocked by the courts, legislators in these states are determined to take away this fundamental right. In Ohio especially, lawmakers have been writing some horrifying bills that if passed would be the most restrictive abortion law in the country. One of the bills would make abortion a felony charge for those who had one and for the doctors who performed them. It includes a provision on how to reimplant ectopic pregnancies which are impossible medical procedures. These bills show that these legislators don’t care about people who have uteruses. They will hurt whoever they need to in order to pass their agenda.

More than ever now, we need to be informed of what is happening with reproductive legislation. You need to know your rights and how they are being infringed upon. Anti-choice legislators and representatives want nothing more than to keep these bills and laws quiet so they can pass these with little pushback and strife. An important part of that is looking back on how we first won the right to have an abortion and why we need to protect it today.

women fists raised in air

Roe v. Wade started with Norma McCorvey. McCorvey discovered in June of 1967 that she was pregnant with her third child. She decided that she didn’t want to have this baby. Abortion was illegal in Texas where she lived, though. She did attempt to obtain an abortion illegally, but the unauthorized facility had been shut down by policy. McCorvey later was referred to Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington. In 1970, Coffee and Weddington filed a suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District on McCorvey’s behalf under the alias Jane Roe.

Roe v. Wade reached the Supreme Court on appeal in 1970. On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled a 7-2 decision in favor of Roe. This decision said that women in the United States have a fundamental right to choose whether or not to have abortions without excessive government restrictions. This in effect struck down all abortion ban laws throughout the country.

McCorvey did have to have her baby, though. The court systems moved too slow and she gave her baby up for adoption.

Even though this decision did go into effect it’s still very difficult for some people to have access to abortions. Since this decision went through legislators and representative have put undue burden by defunding Planned Parenthood, having a 24-hour waiting period before you have an abortion, making health care professional have tell people falsehoods about the procedure,  and not letting any federal funding been given to abortion procedures. This greatly affects poor people and people of color. Some people can’t drive hours and hours or be able to stay overnight somewhere. Abortions are necessary for life. If abortion is banned more people die. This is a fact; because even if it’s not legal, we find a way to have them.

If you feel strongly about these issues and want to find a way to help, Planned Parenthood Generation Action has meetings every Thursday!