Roe vs Wade is making headlines in the United States and has created a role globally.
But what is Roe vs Wade, why is it important for the women in the United States, and how is it creating political unrest in the United States?
This article will answer all the questions related to Roe vs Wade and its importance.
What is Roe vs Wade
Roe vs Wade is a legal case that was ruled by the Supreme Court of the United States on 22nd January 1973 restricting the regulations of abortion and considering it to be unconstitutional. This regulation was related to the 14th amendment clause, which says, “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”
It all began when Jane Roe, a fictional name given to protect the woman’s identity in the 1970s, took over a federal action against Henry wade, who resided in Texas, the then-District Attorney of the Dallas County in Texas.
Initially, the Supreme Court was against Roe’s assertion that a woman has the right to terminate her pregnancy in any way and at any time to create a balance to create a woman’s right, which aligns with the interests of the regulations that surround abortion.
Justice Harry A. Blackmun, However, held that by criminalizing abortion, the court would violate a woman’s constitutional rights to privacy guaranteed in the 14th amendment. He emphasized that there should be a narrow line of criminalizing abortions so that it should compel state interests.
To safeguard the interests of the state and the women’s constitutional rights, the court allowed a pregnant woman to regulate abortion only during the end of the first trimester if the mother’s health is a primary concern. Concerning the fetus, the court said that the viability of life happens within the womb or outside, which is capable at 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Since 1973 Roe vs Wade faced many challenges, but the decision was never overturned.
How did the Roe vs Wade legal case overturn?
It all began when a majority opinion draft was written by Justice Samuel A. Alito, jr., got leaked to a political news publication which indicated that the court had overturned Roe vs Wade.
This draft was dated February 2022 and was officially issued in June 2022, wherein the justice stated that abortion is not a constitutional right.
In the course of the events, Texas, in May 2021, adopted the S.B.8 law, which bands all abortions beyond the cardiovascular activity of the fetus. This means that after about six weeks of pregnancy, when the heartbeats can be detected, there cannot be an abortion to see just applied to any pregnancy.
The ban was first made on state officials, which further transitioned to the private citizens, which empowered them to file a lawsuit against anyone who undergoes abortion or practices abortion of a fetus older than six weeks.
If the citizens win this lawsuit, they will get an incentive of $10,000, and the defendants will pay their legal costs. Additionally, this law did not take into consideration pregnancies that are caused due to sexual abuse or rapes, taking away the right of those that have undergone harassment.
Does this mean that abortion is illegal in the United States now?
As the supreme court’s decision to overturn Roe vs Wade is successful, abortion is legal in most parts of the United States. Still, individual states such as Texas or Mississippi now have the power to make it illegal.
This is because Roe vs Wade ensured that it acted as a shield throughout all the states, which wouldn’t give them any power to pass laws against abortion.
But as it has been overturned, whether abortion is legal or illegal depends on where you live in the United States and the state’s legal regulations. According to reports, at least 23 states and territories will be now making abortion illegal because Roe vs Wade has been overturned centrally.
Now that you are aware of a brief detail of the Roe vs Wade’s background, it is time to answer the next question that is
why is it creating political unrest in the United States?
According to statistics, around 40 million women in the United States are in their reproductive ages. These women are of their childbearing age; hence, if abortion is made illegal, it is a breach of a woman’s right over her privacy and body.
According to U S Center for disease control prevention, in 2019, there were over 630,000 abortions performed in the United States.
Though these were reported, it is estimated that over 2000 more such abortion cases have gone unreported. Additionally, the report says that most of these abortions are performed during the first trimester of the pregnancy, and those who undergo them are mostly unmarried.
With Roe vs Wade now being turned, massive legal, social and economic implications will unfold in the United States for the years to come. The most problematic factor here is that the woman does not have a right to decide over her own body and does not have a say in her reproductive actions due to the state’s legal regulations.
In addition, the case does not consider women that have undergone harrasment and will have to bear the burden of bringing up a child, possibly resulting from sexual assault, rape and unwanted pregnancies. Moreover, it also does not consider the mother’s health, who may have to put her life in danger due to the legal regulations of her state.
It is important to note that some of the prenatal tests to diagnose any disease or genetic condition in the fetus can be performed only after six weeks of pregnancy, and here the parents will not have a say in whether they want to keep a mentally or physically ill child or whether they have to terminate it.
What is your say on Roe vs Wade? Are you for abortion or against abortion? While people may have different perspectives, this case is a very complicated and comprehensive one because it does not seek the right of the fetus but also puts out the right of those bearing the fetus.
The implications are yet to unfold, and we will see how this will affect the legal, social and economical development of the American states.