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Roe v. Wade

Significance, Norma Mccorvey Tests The Law, Constitutional Issues, State Court Favors Plaintiff, Supreme Court Hears The Case


Norma McCorvey, using "Jane Roe" as an alias and representing all pregnant women in a class-action suit


Henry B. Wade, Texas District Attorney

Plaintiff's Claim

The Texas' abortion laws violated McCorvey's and other women's constitutional rights.

Chief Lawyers for Plaintiff

Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee

Chief Defense Lawyers

Jay Floyd and Robert Flowers

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun (writing for the Court), William J. Brennan, Jr., Warren E. Burger, William O. Douglas, Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Potter Stewart

Justices Dissenting

William H. Rehnquist, Byron R. White


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

22 January 1973


Overturned all state laws restricting women's access to abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy and let stand second-trimester restrictions only insofar as they were designed to protect the health of pregnant women.

Related Cases

  • Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1964).
  • Harris v. McRae, 448 U.S. 297 (1980).
  • Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490 (1989).
  • Rust v. Sullivan, 500 U.S. 173 (1991).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980