After years of litigation in the Roe v. Wade case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of Roe, legalizing abortion 40 years ago today.
The court extended the right to privacy clause in the 14th Amendment to a person’s choice to have an abortion; however, that right must be balanced with the state’s interest to protect prenatal life, according to the ruling.
A person may chose to have an abortion until the fetus is viable or “potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid,” according to the Roe v. Wade ruling. Medically, this is usually at about seven months or 28 weeks, but very few doctors perform abortions on people who are past the first trimester.
Before abortion was legalized in the United States, thousands of women died from complications resulting from botched back alley abortions. Currently, 60,000 to 80,000 people worldwide die each…
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