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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Suffolk chapter.

Roe V Wade was a Supreme Court Case in 1973 that declared that access to a safe and legal abortion was a constitutional right. Before the ruling, abortions were limited, and illegal abortions made up 1/6th of all pregnancy related deaths. Now, abortions are considered one of the safest medical procedures in the United States with a safety record of over 99%. 

Illegal abortions were common with estimates of numbers from 200,000 to 1.2 million per year in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1930, abortion was listed as the official cause of death for 18% of maternal deaths that year. Women with lower incomes were affected more by illegal abortions where 8 out of 10 said that they had attempted a self-induced procedure. There was also a racial disparity where 1 out of 4 childbirth related deaths that were related to white women due to abortion as opposed to the 1 out of 2 deaths of nonwhite women. Even when abortion became legal in some states many women were still unable to afford a safe procedure and obtained illegal or self-induced abortions. 

Supreme Court
Photo by Claire Anderson from Unsplash
Even today, after Roe V Wade has been passed, abortions are still limited for many. 43 states don’t allow abortions unless they are necessary to protect the woman’s life or health after a specified point in pregnancy. 45 states allow individual health care providers to refuse to participate in an abortion and 42 states allow institutions to refuse to perform abortions. 25 states require a woman to wait a specified amount of time, typically 24 hours, where she receives counseling and then has the procedure. 

Roe V Wade was an extremely important Supreme Court case that has saved the lives of many women who otherwise would have had to resort to other methods to have an abortion. There are also many women who would have dropped out of school to care for a child. Two-thirds of families who are started by teens are poor and many children of teen parents never escape the cycle of poverty that is created. If Roe V Wade hadn’t passed, the world for American Woman would look very different than it does today which makes it so important. 

Maya Quirk

Suffolk '23

I’m a sophomore at Suffolk University who’s majoring in sociology and minoring in management and marketing. I hope to one day go to law school and open my own firm one day.