The Journey of Roe V. Wade


Ted Eytan

Photo credit: Ted Eytan

Jesus Ortiz Gonzalez, OwlFeed Editor-In-Chief

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” 

The Constitution is a perfect example of what we stand for. It shows that we have the same rights as anyone else under its jurisdiction, no matter of sex, race, or religion. Under its jurisdiction “We the people”, get to choose what goes on in our country. For many years we have been amplifying cases that promote the change we want to see in this country. 

However, one case that gets tons of debates going is the infamous Roe. V. Wade landmark case. This case gave all women the right to have safe and legal abortions in all 50 states. In the most recent decision of the highest court of the land, the case giving protection to all women has been overturned by the Supreme court. This news shocked the nation, causing many protests and rallies around the country.

In order to understand the whole background of this case, let’s start off at the beginning of how it started. In 1969, a Texan woman named Norma McCorvey got pregnant when she was 20. She wanted to have an abortion. At this time the Texas law allowed women to get an abortion if only the woman’s life was endangered due to the pregnancy. McCorvey was referred to feminist lawyers Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee, two lawyers that wanted to challenge the laws restricting access to abortion.

Now at this particular time in the US, abortion was illegal. However many women that were financially stable and had the means to get an abortion would. Usually what would happen is they would go to different countries, where abortion was legal and perform the abortion. Or they would pay doctors in the US, to perform a secret abortion.

However for many women that was not an option. So they restored to having an illegal and dangerous abortion. They would be referred to this as “back-alley” abortions. They would do the abortions themselves, which may lead to longer-term damage. It could also cause more harm than good.

When Sarah and Linda filed the motion, McCorvey was hoping for quick dissension by the court to get an abortion, but it was unsuccessful. Once the dissension was made from the court, Linda and Sarah filed this case as a class-action suit. According to, a class-action suit is a “ procedural device that permits one or more plaintiffs to file and prosecute a lawsuit on behalf of a larger group, or “class”.”

But by the time the ruling was made by three federal judges, the Texas law against abortion was unconstitutional. Norma McCorvey had already given birth, so she put the baby up for adoption. 

Then on January 22, 1973, The United States Supreme court made its decision on the landmark case Roe V. Wade. They saw an abortion as a women’s right to liberty and privacy which is protected under the Constitution. According to, this is what the court saw in the cases. “The decision whether to continue or end a pregnancy belongs to the individual, not the government. Roe held that the specific guarantee of “liberty” in the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects individual privacy, includes the right to abortion prior to fetal viability.” 

From there on, the right to an abortion was granted and protected by all 50 states. This court decision lasted for almost 50 years. During those 50 years, no state could object that a woman can’t have an abortion. 

However, on May 3rd, 2022, politico obtains a draft written by Justice Samuel Alito of the overturning of Roe V. Wade. This daft shocked the nation for many reasons. One reason was that this news was never expected, no drastic change like this has happened in the 21st century. Another reason why this news was so shocking is that this was leaked from someone inside of the Supreme court, and if you know anything about the Supreme court, is that they like to keep everything in secret. Immediately the nation reacted with many protests and rallies to defend Roe V. Wade. 

Then on June 24, 2022, The Supreme court voted on the overturning of Roe V. Wade. The vote was 5-to-4, the majority vote was on the overturning. This overturning does not mean that abortion is banned everywhere in the United States. Dan Mangan and Kevin Breuninger two news reports from CNBC said, “The court’s controversial but expected ruling gives individual states the power to set their own abortion laws without concern of running afoul of Roe, which had permitted abortions during the first two trimesters of pregnancy.”

Now you may be wondering, what states are allowing abortion and which ones are not allowing it? According to the New York Times, at least 12 states have already banned abortion. These 12 states had something called a trigger law. Jesus Jiménez, a New York Times journalist, explains, “so-called trigger laws, which would effectively ban abortions almost immediately after a decision from the Supreme Court, to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

The states with trigger laws in place are Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. Currently only 12 out of the 13 states with bigger bans, officially banned abortion. Some states that may ban abortion in the near future include Ohio, Georgia, Florida, Utah, North Carolina, Indiana, Arizona, Iowa, North Dakota, Michigan, Montana, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming, 

The states that will allow abortion to the full extent are Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. The states that will allow abortion but with limitations are Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

The justices that decided to overturn were Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. The justices that decided to uphold Roe V. Wade were Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kaga. 

Once the news was out that Roe V. Wade was officially not protected by the supreme court, people started going to rallies and protesting the decision to overturn. In these protests, you can see people holding up signs saying “ Abortion is a human right”, “ My body my choice”, and “Abortion is health care”. 

On the other side of this story, there are many people celebrating the overturning of Roe V. Wade. The people celebrating the overturning are people that are “pro-life”.  According to pro-life means, “Someone who is pro-life thinks that women do not have a right to choose whether or not to continue their pregnancy and give birth to a child and that abortion is wrong in most or all circumstances.”

As one nation, “We The People ” get to see what power government officials have over us. They can alter and even end the things we want to happen.