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Policies in Relation to Abortion

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Policies in Relation to Abortion Before and After the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Case
New Mexico State University
Jennifer Walker

The Roe versus Wade Supreme Court Case has had a huge impact on abortion laws in the United States. Before 1973, abortions were illegal and criminal, with few exceptions. Overnight, the decision in the case legalized first trimester abortions while leaving the specifications of the other trimesters up to the states. This case has led to many debates over the value of life and when life begins whether at conception, independence from mother, or first breath. All of these can be defined by religion, law, or individual beliefs. Unfortunately, none of the policies before or after Roe versus Wade have addressed the issue of unintended pregnancies, which is the underlying cause of abortion. Until this is addressed, policies will continue to be created, implemented, and challenged.

Policies in Relation to Abortion Before and After the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Case
In 1973, a case was selected to be heard by the Supreme Court that would substantially impact women’s rights then and continue to impact them today. The case was over Texas policy article 1911 that stated, “If any person shall designedly administer to a pregnant woman or knowingly procure to be administered with her consent… and thereby procure an abortion, he shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than two nor more than five years…” (Law Library, 2014). The only exceptions to abortion were if a medical professional believed the mother’s life was at risk due to the pregnancy, was a result of rape, or was a result of incest. The constitutionality of this policy was challenged by “Jane Roe” (an alias for Nora McCorvey) in 1970 when she was denied an abortion (Roe V Wade, 1973). The case was heard by the Supreme Court in 1973 when the policy was...

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