The current members of the US Supreme Court are Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Anthony Kennedy, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Elena Kagan, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., Justice Stephen G. Breyer.
In Roe v. Wade, Roe, a single woman took to the court after her efforts to terminate her pregnancy was denied by Texas. The Texas criminal abortion laws prohibited abortion and only allowed it when there was an apparent present danger to a woman’s life. The Texas laws under challenge were Arts 1191-1194 and 1196 of Texas State Penal Code which made an abortion procedure a crime.
The court wanted to find out if the constitution saw abortion as a woman’s right. The challenge was that state criminal abortion laws violated the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment. The argument was that abortion fell within the right to privacy which is protected by the fourteenth amendment. The fourteenth amendments assets that “no state shall make or enforce any laws which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” (Cornell n.p.).
The court ruled seven to two in favor of Roe. The ruling gave women the right to abort over the first trimester and the state would have varied levels of input in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. Since Roe v. Wade opposition to abortion has intensified especially from a coalition of Republicans and social conservatives who consist of evangelical Protestants and Catholics. There has been harassments against doctors who perform abortion procedures. Texas recently passed a law that threatens the future of abortion clinics. One of anti-abortion targets has been Planned Parenthood.
Cornell University Law School. Roe v. Wade.
Chicago Kent College of Law. Roe v. Wade. http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-