History Of Abortion Laws
Start writing a post

Everything You Need to Know About The History of Abortion Laws

What's this Roe v. Wade that everyone's talking about?

20
https://www.flickr.com/photos/number7cloud/32936173946/in/photolist-e33vwc-6Zsjwi-Sbsv33-ReDE4U-ReDDPL-ReDC6f-2bDTw8u-26JrdMQ-26NcoPM-PAgP4C-2akH3mg-MYejGe-e33vx4-e33vyB-qTAv5P-qBccRm-qRsyVC-e33vhn-TH9FYh-26Ncop8-CrkYF3-26Ncoqa-26Jrdv7-CQmvTv-DehCgJ-CQmByt-2akHcaP-2aCzTXd-2aCzBXY-2bDTmT7-LQotx8-26JrdGj-2akHkzz-2eJurVW-2akHkic-2akH2A8-26Jrdt3-DgziCp-CrsLRB-CrsJxi-CWHNmJ-DegxrA-CrrZHF-DegULu-CQm46c-CWJP3b-DgyLbg-26JrdtU-DegQSh-26JrdC1
Lorie Shaull

Listen, the more educated you are, the more equipped you are to argue with people over the internet.

So here it goes.


Roe v. Wade was the landmark decision that paved the federal opinion of abortion since 1973. This decision ruled that the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, the right to privacy, protects a woman's right to choose an abortion without government interference. (Which is why anti-abortion legislation won't make it past the Supreme Court.) It was also decided that this right is not absolute, so the Supreme Court ruled that balances needed to be put in place to protect the government's interests in providing women's healthcare and protecting prenatal life. So the court ruled that the states should be granted regulations based on the trimesters of a woman's pregnancy:

  • During the first trimester, governments could not prohibit abortions at all.
  • During the second, governments could require reasonable health regulations.
  • During the third, abortions could be prohibited entirely as long as the laws provided exceptions for cases involving severe health risks to the mother.
The court ruled that a woman's right to choose an abortion is her "fundamental right," which requires any challenged abortion law to be evaluated under the straight scrutiny standard. This is the highest level of judicial review that results in a judge striking down a law unless the government can prove in court that the regulation is
  • Firstly, compelling to state interest.
  • Secondly, that it is narrowly tailored to achieving the state's compelling interest.
  • And thirdly, that the law uses the lease restrictive means to achieve its purpose.

This served as the primary ruling on abortion practices until 1992 when the Roe v. Wade ruling was first challenged by Planned Parenthood v. Casey. This case resulted in the court reaffirming Roe's holding that a woman's right to abort a nonviable fetus is constitutionally protected. However, this case did abolish the trimester scale and replaced it with a standard based on fetal viability—which is defined as the "potential to be able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid."

The court determined this to be at 23-24 weeks pregnant. This case also overturned the requirement that government regulations on abortion be subjected to the strict scrutiny standard, allowing states to govern abortion practices as they see fit. In its place, the court established the undue burden standard, which prohibits legislature that proves too burdensome of one's fundamental rights. These abortion standards are the ones that are upheld today.


Roe v. Wade has scarcely been challenged since, until the recent abortion legislation in states like Alabama, Georgia and Ohio.

Here's where my two cents come in. These new abortion laws are clearly against what the Supreme Court has already decided as "fundamental rights" according to the constitution. Therefore, these states are intentionally crafting these laws to gain the attention of the Supreme Court in the hopes of challenging the original Roe v. Wade decision. Though it's not likely the court will change their stance on abortion, states like Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio could prove successful in restricting abortion laws like in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. All in all, these states creating crazy abortion laws are doing so just for shock value.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Heart on a Wet Sleeve

No one prepares you for the honeymoon phase wearing off

1210
Heart on a Wet Sleeve

Let's start off with the simple fact that God made everyone differently. That statement could not be more evident. We try to embrace our differences and set ourselves apart from the rest of the world. What that doesn't prepare us for is when we yearn for a characteristic of someone else. For example, have you ever met someone who can experience this great heart ache and hardly shed a tear? This person just had their heart ripped out and they find a way to carry themselves through it with great composure. Well, not all of us have that desirable trait. Some of us wear our hearts on our wet sleeves. When a person has their heart on their sleeve, it can be viewed as a good thing, that the individual isn't shallow. However,

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Panic! At The Disco Announces Breakup After 19 Years

Band Makes Breakup Announcement Official: 'Will Be No More'

11298
panic at the disco

It's the end of an era. Originally formed in 2004 by friends in Las Vegas, Panic! At The Disco is no more.

Brendon Urie announced on Instagram that the band will be coming to an end after the upcoming Europe tour. He said that he and his wife are expecting a baby, and the life change weighed heavily in his mind to come to this decision. "Sometimes a journey must end for a new one to begin," he said.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Odyssey's response writer community is growing- read what our new writers have to say!

16882
https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-writing-on-white-book-1043514/
https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-typing-on-type...

Each week, more response writers are joining the Odyssey community. We're excited to spotlight their voices on as they engage in constructive dialogue with our community. Here are the top three response articles of last week:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

To Mom

There are days when you just need your mom

24831
To Mom

There really is no way to prepare yourself for the loss of someone. Imagine that someone being the one who carried you for 9th months in their belly, taught you how to walk, fought with you about little things that only a mother and daughter relationship could understand. You can have a countless number of father figures in your life, but really as my mom always said, " you only get one mom."

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

The Way People In Society are Dating is Why I Don't Date

I need someone to show that they want me for me, not that they're using me to chase the idea of being in a relationship.

24481
The Way People In Society are Dating is Why I Don't Date
rawpixel

You hear your phone go off. He's asking you to hang out. Then, of course, you get the advice of your friends to decipher this text. Is it just hanging out or is it more than hanging out? You've probably done this at least once in your life or at least seen a tweet where someone posted their screenshots with a potential love interest.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments