Supreme Court Landmarks |  Jane Roe | 7

American History Tellers

By Wondery

Supreme Court Landmarks | Jane Roe | 7

Wednesday, 2 December

In 1970, a 22-year-old woman in Texas named Norma McCorvey tried and failed to get an abortion from her doctor. Abortion was illegal in Texas, just as it was in most states. Women hoping to terminate their pregnancies had few options, and many resorted to risky back-alley procedures.

McCorvey was soon introduced to a pair of young lawyers who hoped to go to court to challenge the Texas law banning abortion. Before long, McCorvey became the plaintiff known only as “Jane Roe.”

Her case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, where the Justices would rule on whether the constitutional right to privacy applied to abortion. The Court’s landmark ruling changed the lives of American women, and unleashed intense controversy, dividing the nation for decades to come.

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