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Roe v. Wade: 40 Years Later

What's your view of the abortion law today?

Forty years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling effectively legalizing abortion nationwide.

The case, Roe v. Wade, started in Texas in 1969 when a woman named Norma McCorvey attempted to have an abortion. But at that time, Texas law only allowed abortion in cases involving rape or incest. McCorvey gave birth but still pursued legal action against the state, under the name Jane Roe.

The lower court ruled in McCorvey's favor based on interpretation of the 9th Amendment and the right to privace. The case was appealed and went up to the Supreme Court, which weighed the right to privacy along with stage of pregnancy and health of fetus and mother.

On Jan. 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled -- with a 7-2 vote -- that state laws banning abortions in the first stage of pregnancy violated the due process clause in the 14th Amendment and that birth or abortion should be decided by a woman and her doctor.

In effect, the ruling made it illegal for states to ban abortion. Before Roe v. Wade, many states had allowed abortions under various circumstances, and many did not.

The case was decided 40 years ago, but it has remained a hot-button issue of national debate since. Candidates for elected office frequently express their support for, or opposition to, the ruling.

A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed a majority of Americans supporting legalized abortion, with 70 percent of respondents opposing to overturning Roe v. Wade. But support for abortion rights varies in different parts of the country and different demographics.

What do you think? Should abortion remain legal? Should Roe v. Wade be overturned and states be allowed to ban all abortions? Discuss in the comments below.

salemst January 22, 2013 at 04:22 PM
40 years later human life has been cheapened, 50 million babies executed, traditional family's been destroyed with a 50% divorce rate and less than 50% marriage rate, 44% illegitimacy rate, and an astronomical amount of government social entitlement money spent "solving" all the ensuing social problems resulting as a consequence. We need more behavioral self-restraint, and less behavior "without consequences."
Loretta Middleton January 23, 2013 at 05:25 PM
Terminating a pregnancy should be legal and safe. Like any other medical procedure the decision should be made by the pregnant person with advice from her physician. Unless women have control of their reproductive choices they will never have equal opportunities to men. Until men are able to carry a fetus they should not be allowed to have any say in laws regarding pregnancy because they will never have to bear the consequences of such laws. Our Bodies Ourselves! Get over it.

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