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The World Explained In Plain English.
The World Explained In Plain English.
roe v wade in layman's terms

Roe v. Wade In Layman's Terms

In layman's terms - Roe v. Wade is a 1973 court case about a pregnant woman name Jane Roe who challenged the abortion law. The case has been very impactful & controversial throughout its existence and was overruled in June 2022. Roe v. Wade is still being fought today.


Roe v. Wade was a 1973 Supreme Court case about a pregnant woman called Jane Roe who wanted to challenge a law that made abortion illegal. She argued that the law was unclear and that it violated her right to privacy, which is protected by the Constitution. The Supreme Court was faced with the question: "Does the Constitution recognize a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy by abortion?"

Court Ruling

Roe vs Wade

The court ruled 7-2 in favor of Roe, finding that restricting abortion was unconstitutional because it broke the Fourteenth Amendment's right to privacy.
Basically, the court said that it is unconstitutional for a state to have too many restrictions on abortions. This means that women have the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion up until the first trimester of their pregnancy. After that, the state can put restrictions on abortion, but there must be exceptions for cases where the woman's life or health is in danger.

The Roe v Wade case established that abortion is a legal right in the United States. This means that states cannot pass laws that make it illegal to have an abortion. The Supreme Court has continued to rule on cases related to Roe v Wade, determining the extent of rights available to women seeking abortions and other reproductive health services.

Roe v. Wade Controversy

Those that support the Roe v. Wade decision were happy because it guaranteed women the right to make private medical decisions, free from government interference. Women could choose to have an abortion if they want, without having to worry about the government stepping in and telling them what they can and can't do. The decision also protects women's health and safety by allowing them to seek medical care early on in their pregnancies, when complications are more likely to occur.

People who oppose the Roe v Wade decision argue that it gives women too much power when it comes to abortions. They stated that women can now terminate pregnancies for any reason, at any stage of development, and this is unfair to both the unborn child and the state governments who want to regulate abortion. They also argue that Roe v Wade overrode the rights of states to make their own decisions about abortion, which reduces the strength of state’s power.
Although probably the biggest motivation of those who oppose Roe v. Wade is the argument that it robs unborn children of their right to life.

Roe v. Wade Impact

The decision has been highly controversial throughout its history, with the debate over Roe v. Wade continuing even today. Despite the long-lasting impact of this ruling, it is important to remember that Roe v. Wade was about more than just abortion; it was about protecting a woman's right to privacy and bodily autonomy. Roe v. Wade has shaped the way we think about reproductive rights and continues to be a major factor in determining laws related to abortion.

The decision has been used as the foundation for other pro-choice rulings, such as Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt in 2016, which struck down two abortion restrictions in Texas. The Roe v. Wade decision is a powerful reminder of the importance of women's rights and the need for continued vigilance in protecting those rights. This decision ensures that women across the United States have access to safe, legal reproductive health care.

Roe v. Wade Overruled 2022

 Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health OrganizationKevin Dietsch/Getty Images |  Activists protest during a demonstration outside of the Supreme Court on October 4, 2021, in Washington. 

In June 2022, Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization in a 6-3 decision. The new ruling says that there is no right to abortion according to the Constitution. This allows states to make their own regulations on abortion access. As a result, many states have passed laws severely limiting or banning abortion. Many Americans are upset, with people and organizations protesting the decision. While the specifics of the decision are still being played out in court, it is clear that Roe v. Wade will remain an important and controversial issue for years to come.

Terms You May Not Know

  1. Bodily Autonomy - A person's right to do whatever they want with their body.

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