Skip to main content
Tags: roe | wade | abortion

Who Are Roe and Wade? Facts About Landmark Abortion Case

By    |   Monday, 21 September 2015 04:45 PM EDT

The Roe v. Wade landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion remains a controversial decision, but who exactly were Roe and Wade?

The lawsuit began when Texas resident Norma L. McCorvey, under the alias "Jane Roe," wanted to terminate her pregnancy, but under Texas statue, abortions were only permitted in cases when it was medically advised that the life of the mother was in danger.

Vote Now: Do You Support Tougher Regulations on Abortion Clinics?

Roe, who was not married, claimed the law was unconstitutionally vague and harmed her right of privacy found in the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and 14th amendments. She requested an injunction to prevent Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade from enforcing the law.

Along with Roe, three other plaintiffs in the case were James Hallford, a doctor who faced criminal prosecution for violating the abortion statutes, and John and Mary Doe, a married, childless couple who wanted an injunctive relief from the Texas law, according to Lawnix.

The case got off to a bumpy start as Roe’s attorney Sarah Weddington was unable to locate the constitutional source of her argument. Defending lawyer Jay Floyd misfired from the start, according to Oyez.

By the second round, Weddington had reshaped her argument, and the new defending attorney Robert Flowers was blasted with inquiries from the justices.

The 7-2 decision written by Justice Harry Blackmun held that Texas’ law was too restrictive and that a woman’s right to have an abortion fell under the "zone of privacy," PBS reported.

While the Court did not define when life begins, it argued prenatal life was not within the definition of “persons” found in the Constitution and that laws only occasionally included unborn babies.

The Court added, however, states would be able to restrict procedures to protect the mother and the potential human life, though within the first trimester of pregnancy, the right to abortion cannot be denied.

Urgent: How Do You Feel About Stronger Regulations on Abortion Clinics?

While Roe won her case, Hallford and the Does did not. The decision made by the district court was overturned for Hallford as the Supreme Court stated the doctor did not have a substantiated threat to a federally protected right, according to Lawnix. Once the Court found the law unconstitutional, however, the Texas authorities would be unable to enforce the statutes.

The court dismissed the Does’ case because it was too speculative since Mary Doe was not pregnant.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

The Roe v. Wade landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion remains a controversial decision, but who exactly were Roe and Wade?
roe, wade, abortion
Monday, 21 September 2015 04:45 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.

PLEASE NOTE: All information presented on is for informational purposes only. It is not specific medical advice for any individual. All answers to reader questions are provided for informational purposes only. All information presented on our websites should not be construed as medical consultation or instruction. You should take no action solely on the basis of this publication’s contents. Readers are advised to consult a health professional about any issue regarding their health and well-being. While the information found on our websites is believed to be sensible and accurate based on the author’s best judgment, readers who fail to seek counsel from appropriate health professionals assume risk of any potential ill effects. The opinions expressed in and do not necessarily reflect those of Newsmax Media. Please note that this advice is generic and not specific to any individual. You should consult with your doctor before undertaking any medical or nutritional course of action.


Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved