Jane Roe sued the state of Texas because she wanted law prohibiting abortion to be declared unconstitutional.
One question that law students and people interest in law are quizzed often on is the historic case of Jane Roe, the question usually asked is – Jane Roe sued the state of Texas because she wanted what?
Well, the answer lies in the facts of the case. Jane Roe was an alias used by the supreme court to hide the identity of Norma McCorvey, a woman living in Texas who sued the state of Texas asking the court to declare Texas abortion laws as unconstitutional.
Jane Roe sued the state of Texas because she wanted what?
Norma McCorvey wanted to abort her 3rd pregnancy but at the time, Texas abortion laws laws only permitted abortions in circumstances where it was necessary to save the woman’s life.
The lawsuit was filed in Dallas county against Henry Wade, the Dallas district attorney in 1970.
The supreme court ruling in Roe vs Wade
The Texas supreme court ruled in favor of Jane Roe, effectively describing laws banning abortion in Texas unconstitutional, particularly in breach of the 14th Amendment.
The case was appealed in the US supreme court which upheld the decision of the Texas supreme court. Jane Roe however gave birth and gave the child up for adoption.
In the landmark ruling, the court divided a pregnancy into trimesters, ruling that a woman could at will decide to terminate a pregnancy during the first trimester, termination in the second semester can be regulated by the government but only as a means to protect the health of the woman.
States could ban abortion in the third trimester to protect the life of the fetus who at this stage could survive on it’s own, allowing abortion only when it’s to save the life of the woman.
This case was a clear win for supporters of the pro-choice movement but surely didn’t go down well with the pro-life side of the United States.