Before the Roe vs Wade case, abortions were illegal. They were considered highly unconventional and opposed ethics and moral beliefs. To this day, these views still exist.
But what was it like for women who required abortions before they were declared legal in 1973? Women of many demographics faced challenges in their lives. Challenges, or obstacles that prevented them from fulfilling the life a child. Maybe they were a student in school, who didn’t want to dedicate their life to a burden of a family.
Maybe the woman was sexually assaulted and raped, which resulted in her pregnancy. Maybe the fetus threatened the very life of the mother. All of which are reasons women seeked abortions. They simply had no choice. With laws restricting intentional miscarriage. They had to pursue unjust methods of abortion.
Whether that be self termination with common household objects or a questionable black market doctor with a hidden agenda. All methods were non-official and dangerous. Nothing was insured, and because of that, many women died having abortions. The turning point in legalizing abortions happened when Norma McCorvey, an unmarried Texan women filed for an abortion, but was denied it under the law of Texas. She filed a lawsuit under the name of “Jane Roe” to have the law declared unconstitutional. Roe proclaimed that a law preventing her from getting an abortion violated her constitutional right to her privacy and her freedom under the first and ninth amendment.
The Supreme court vote ended in a 7-2 vote, agreeing with Roe’s side of the argument, that criminalizing abortion infringed the fourth amendment. The Court stated that states would still hold interest in ensuring the health and safety of pregnant women, as well as the potential life of the fetus. Basically stating that the states would hold the power to regulate abortions in any way they see fit, under the 10th amendment. Abortions were now legal in all states, but followed different prerequisites and restrictions. One of the main points brought up during the trial was the viability of the fetus. During what time period does the fetus obtain constitutional rights as a human being? Supreme court ruled that states cannot put their priority interests in the fetus over the mother’s until the fetus is considered “viable” meaning the developing infant could survive outside the womb. The court accepted the knowledge that a fetus becomes viable at the start of the start of the third trimester, which is generally around the 24th and 28th week. The court ruled that abortions cannot occur during the third trimester due to the viability of the fetus, unless it threatens the life of the mother, there are no exceptions.