Roe v. Wade is a landmark decision by [[The Supreme Court]] of the United States that was issued on January 22, 1973. The ruling effectively legalized abortion across the United States by establishing a woman's legal right to have an abortion under the [[constitution]]al right to privacy, which is protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The case was brought by a woman under the pseudonym "Jane Roe" (later revealed to be Norma McCorvey) who sought to terminate her pregnancy but was unable to do so due to restrictive abortion laws in Texas at the time. Roe sued Henry Wade, the Dallas County district attorney, in federal court, arguing that the Texas abortion laws were unconstitutional. ## 1973 decision liberates women In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Roe, with the majority opinion written by Justice Harry Blackmun. The Court determined that the constitutional right to privacy encompasses a woman's decision to have an abortion. However, the Court also recognized that the state has an interest in protecting the health of the woman and the potential life of the fetus. To balance these competing interests, the Court established a trimester framework. ## Trimester framework 1. **First trimester:** During the first trimester, the decision to have an abortion lies solely with the woman and her physician, and the state cannot regulate or restrict the abortion process. 2. **Second trimester:** In the second trimester, the state may regulate abortion procedures in ways that are reasonably related to the health of the pregnant woman. 3. **Third trimester:** During the third trimester, when the fetus is considered viable (capable of surviving outside the womb), the state may regulate or even prohibit abortions, except when the life or health of the mother is at risk. Roe v. Wade has been the subject of intense debate and controversy since its ruling. Proponents of the decision argue that it upholds a woman's right to bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom, while opponents contend that it violates the rights of unborn children and oversteps the role of the judiciary in interpreting the [[Constitution]]. In _Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization_ (2022), the extreme right-wing Supreme Court ended Roe v. Wade with some weak excuses and pretexts. The effects of this decision -- reversing 49 years of stare decesis -- are [reverberating through the country]( as women and their families deal with the impact of having less rights than their mothers and grandmothers.