January 22, 1973: The Supreme Court delivers its decision in Roe v. Wade.

On this day forty years ago, the Burger Court handed down one of the most famous and controversial Supreme Court decisions in the nation’s history. In 1970, Norma L. McCorvey filed suit in a U.S. District Court in Texas under the alias “Jane Roe” after trying and failing to obtain an abortion, both through legal and illegal means, and later that year her case reached the Supreme Court. At the time, abortion was illegal in thirty states, available under certain circumstances (like incest and rape) in twenty, and fully available at request in only Washington, New York, Alaska, and Hawaii. In Texas, a statute forbade women from acquiring abortions except in cases where the mother’s life was at risk.

The Court ultimately voted 7-2 to strike the Texas law down, establishing in the Court’s eyes abortion as a fundamental constitutional right. The usually conservative Chief Justice Warren Burger voted with the majority, which argued (in an opinion written by Harry Blackmun) that most state laws restricting abortion violated a woman’s right to privacy. Justices White and Rehnquist dissented.; White wrote that he could “find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to supported the Court’s judgment”. Endlessly controversial, Roe v. Wade divided the public forty years ago and continues to do so today. Norma L. McCorvey/”Jane Roe”, the woman at the center of the entire case, notably converted to Christianity in 1994 and became a spokesperson for the anti-abortion movement. 

  1. icy463 reblogged this from unhistorical
  2. cherrylicks reblogged this from unhistorical
  3. crazybeautifulstars reblogged this from this-is-carolina
  4. cynicalsarcasticgoddess reblogged this from choosechoice
  5. keiraelaine reblogged this from choosechoice
  6. whimsicalapothecary reblogged this from choosechoice
  7. grrrlfromichigan reblogged this from choosechoice
  8. ravingsofabitch reblogged this from choosechoice
  9. justice-unicorn reblogged this from yourenotsylviaplath
  10. capriciouslittleflower reblogged this from riotgrrrlact
  11. riotgrrrlact reblogged this from choosechoice
  12. booche reblogged this from yourenotsylviaplath
  13. yuyayunka reblogged this from choosechoice
  14. signalsandsoundwaves reblogged this from choosechoice
  15. equaliteaandcrumpets reblogged this from choosechoice
  16. yourenotsylviaplath reblogged this from choosechoice
  17. cho0seloveorsympathy reblogged this from choosechoice
  18. choosechoice reblogged this from hellyeahscarleteen
  19. deborahoftarth reblogged this from goongprincess
  20. goongprincess reblogged this from unhistorical
  21. mackenziedreams reblogged this from themaryd
  22. softrainsagainstthesky reblogged this from harlotofthedesert
  23. aurorablethehorrible reblogged this from hellyeahscarleteen
  24. rosemarymonday reblogged this from unhistorical
  25. quicksilvergrrl reblogged this from shannibal-cannibal
  26. renegade-angels reblogged this from thus-conscience-doth-make
  27. thus-conscience-doth-make reblogged this from unhistorical
  28. torukun1 reblogged this from unhistorical
  29. kbrynhl reblogged this from myfirstnameisweird
  30. findawaytogetaway reblogged this from secretaryofnagriculture