Center for Political Awareness

“Letters from an American” by Heather Cox Richardson

On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision. Author Heather Cox Richardson writes about the decision from a historical perspective. (Click image for details.)

“On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision. By a 7–2 vote, the Supreme Court found that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution guaranteed the right of privacy under its “concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action.” This right to privacy, the court said, guarantees a pregnant woman the right to obtain an abortion without restriction in the first trimester of a pregnancy. After that point, the state can regulate abortion, it said, “except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother….”  

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