Roe vs. Wade.

Essay by cherrychik0101High School, 11th gradeA-, October 2005

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In the year 1970, it was illegal in many states in the U.S. for women to get an abortion, which a woman named Norma McCorvey sought to change. She was a Texas resident who was determined to end her pregnancy through abortion and strongly believed that the Texas law which criminalized abortion went against women's Fourteenth Amendment right to choose whether to continue a pregnancy. Mrs. McCorvey preferred to protect her identity, so she used the name "Jane Roe". The Roe vs. Wade case remains today one of the most debatable decisions in the history of the Supreme Court.

The case arose in 1970 when Jane's attorney, Sarah Weddington, filed the lawsuit. The defendant's name was Henry Wade, a Dallas County District Attorney. On December 13, 1971, both Jane Roe and Henry Wade appealed to the Supreme Court. Arguments from Weddington and Texas Assistant Attorney General Jay Floyd were proposed to the Court.

Chief Justice Warren Burger was uninfluenced by this first oral argument, and arranged for the case to be reargued. On October 11, 1972, the reargument took place. Again representing Jane Roe was Sarah Weddington while Texas Assistant Attorney General Robert Flowers represented Henry Wade. The majority opinion included Harry Blackbum who claimed that Maternity and additional offspring may bring about a distressful life and future, and that mental and physical health is effected by childcare. The Court declared, "We, therefore, conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision." The dissenting opinion included Byron White and William Rehnquist who both believed that the right to privacy was irrelevant to the case and that nothing in the Constitution supported the Court's judgement. Justice White stated "Legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally disentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of...