When Did Roe Vs Wade Become Law: Answers & Insights

Abortion has been a topic of controversy in the United States for decades. The landmark case of Roe v. Wade was an important turning point in abortion rights, but when did Roe v. Wade become law? In this article, we will delve into the history of the case and how it became a law in the US.

The History of Roe v. Wade

Roe v. Wade was a landmark Supreme Court case in 1973 that legalized abortion in the US. The case was named after Jane Roe, a pseudonym for Norma McCorvey who was pregnant and wanted an abortion in Texas but was unable to due to laws in the state that prohibited abortions except if the mother would die without one.

The case was first filed in 1970 when McCorvey was pregnant and seeking an abortion in Texas. However, Texas law only allowed for abortions if the mother’s life was in danger. McCorvey challenged this law, stating that it was unconstitutional and violated her right to privacy.

The case was heard by the Supreme Court and was decided in favor of McCorvey, striking down the Texas law and legalizing abortions across the US. The case was decided on January 22, 1973.

How Did Roe v. Wade Become Law?

Legal Process of Roe v. Wade

Roe v. Wade went through a long legal process before becoming a law. The case was first heard by a district court in Texas, which ruled in favor of the state’s law that prohibited abortions except in cases where the mother’s life was in danger.

The case was then appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, which upheld the district court’s ruling. However, the court amended its opinion to allow abortions in cases where the mother’s health was at risk, not just in cases where her life was in danger.

The case was then appealed to the US Supreme Court, where it was heard in 1971. The Supreme Court heard arguments from both sides and issued a decision in favor of McCorvey in 1973, ruling that state laws prohibiting abortions were unconstitutional and violated a woman’s right to privacy.

Impact of Roe v. Wade

The impact of Roe v. Wade was immense. It legalized abortions across the US and led to a significant shift in public opinion towards abortion rights. Prior to the decision, many states had laws in place that prohibited or severely limited a woman’s ability to obtain an abortion.

After the decision, many states began to liberalize their abortion laws, allowing women more access to abortions. However, the decision also led to decades of controversy and legal battles as opponents of abortion rights sought to overturn the decision.

Controversies Surrounding Roe v. Wade

Political Controversies

Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, there has been a significant amount of political controversy surrounding the decision. Many conservative politicians and groups have sought to overturn the decision, arguing that it violates the rights of unborn children.

Opponents of abortion rights argue that the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade was based on the faulty premise that a woman has a constitutional right to privacy when it comes to her own body. Critics further argue that the Supreme Court should not have intervened in what they believe was a moral and ethical issue best left to individual states to decide.

Medical Controversies

Abortion has also been the subject of medical controversy. Many pro-life advocates believe that abortions are dangerous, even when performed by trained medical professionals. They point to studies that suggest complications can arise from abortions, such as infection or damaged reproductive organs.

However, most medical professionals believe that abortions are safe when performed by licensed and trained medical professionals. Statistics show that complications from abortions are rare, and most women who seek out an abortion have a successful and safe procedure.

The Future of Roe v. Wade

Possible Outcomes

Since the Roe v. Wade decision was issued in 1973, there has been persistent opposition to the ruling. The current political climate in the US has led many to speculate about the future of Roe v. Wade and abortion rights in general.

Some believe that the conservative majority on the Supreme Court may eventually overturn Roe v. Wade, which could lead to a significant shift in abortion rights across the US. Others believe that the Supreme Court, particularly Chief Justice John Roberts, is likely to uphold the decision, given the intense legal precedent and public support for abortion rights.

Anticipated Impact

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it will likely lead to a significant curtailing of abortion rights across the US. Many states will likely move to restrict or ban abortions entirely, particularly in conservative-leaning states where opposition to abortion is particularly strong.

It is possible that Roe v. Wade could be replaced with a new law that limits abortion rights but does not ban the procedure altogether. However, there is no clear consensus on what such a law would look like or how it would be implemented.


Roe v. Wade was a landmark Supreme Court case in 1973 that legalized abortion across the US. The decision has had a significant impact on American society and has been the subject of intense political and social controversy for decades.

The future of Roe v. Wade and abortion rights in general remains uncertain, with many political and legal challenges still on the horizon. However, the decision remains one of the most important legal and social developments of the 20th century, shaping the debate over reproductive rights in the US for decades to come.

Unordered List of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What is Roe v. Wade?
  • When was the Roe v. Wade decision made?
  • How did Roe v. Wade become law?
  • What impact did Roe v. Wade have?
  • What are some controversies surrounding Roe v. Wade?
  • What is the future of Roe v. Wade?


1. Roe v. Wade (1973) Oyez.

2. Roe v. Wade History.

3. Roe v. Wade & Abortion Rights Planned Parenthood.

4. Roe v. Wade: What You Need To Know Renee T. Sanders Law.

5. Roe v. Wade: Questions and Answers US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *