Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Roe v. Wade case brief

Roe v. Wade case brief summary
410 U.S. 113 (1973)

-Plaintiffs, a pregnant single woman and a married couple, and intervenor physician sued defendant district attorney challenging the constitutionality of Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. arts. 1191-1194, and 1196 (abortion laws), and sought an injunction.
-The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas declared that the laws violated U.S. Constitutional amendments IX and XIV privacy rights and was vague and overbroad, but denied the injunction.

The Court affirmed the judgment, holding that abortion was within the scope of the personal liberty guaranteed by the Due Process Clause.

-This right was not absolute, but could be regulated by narrowly drawn legislation aimed at vindicating legitimate, compelling state interests in the mother’s health and safety and the potentiality of human life.
-The former became compelling, and was thus grounds for regulation after the first trimester of pregnancy, beyond which the state could regulate abortion to preserve and protect maternal health. The latter became compelling at viability, upon which a state could proscribe abortion except to preserve the mother’s life or health.
-The Texas statutes made no distinction between abortions performed early in pregnancy and those performed later, and it limited the legal justification for the procedure to a single reason --saving the mother's life -- so it could not survive the constitutional attack.
-This conclusion made it unnecessary for the Court to consider the doctor's vagueness challenge.

OUTCOME: The judgment of the district court as to the doctor's intervention was reversed, and the doctor's complaint in intervention was dismissed. In all other respects, the judgment of the district court was affirmed.

Also see: Abortion legal definition - http://www.lawschoolcasebriefs.net/2014/04/abortion-legal-definition.html

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