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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Roe v. Wade Case Brief



Roe v Wade Case Brief

Facts:
Jane Roe, a pregnant woman who wanted to avail of abortion services filed a class suit in behalf of all women who were in the same situation as her to prevent the enforcement of Texas laws which in essence made it a criminal act for a woman to have an abortion except in cases where the life of the mother is at stake. According to her, she was a single mother who wanted to avail of legal abortion because her life was not in danger. Due to financial constraints, she was also unable to travel to another jurisdiction where abortion was actually legal. She sought a declaratory judgment to the effect that the statutes in question were unconstitutional on their face. She also sought an injunction to prevent the defendant, the District Attorney Wade from Dallas County, from enforcing the said statutes.

Some of the other plaintiffs who were involved in the said suit were Hallford, a doctor who faced criminal prosecution due to his involvement with abortion, as well as the spouses Doe who were a couple with no children and whom believed that the said laws in question were unconstitutional.

The primary contention of appellant Roe was that the said statutes were unconstitutionally vague and that they infringed on her right of personal privacy. She specifically referred to the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments which protected the said rights.

Issue/s:

Do the said Texas statutes abridge the appellant’s rights as she represented?

Are abortion laws that criminalize abortions except in cases of medical emergencies inherently unconstitutional?

Rules:
Statutes which make all abortions criminal except in cases where needed medically or medically advised such as when the life of the mother is at stake are in fact unconstitutional invasions of privacy.

Application:
In sum, the Court ruled that the right to personal privacy indeed includes the issue in question. Thus, the right of women to have a choice in having an abortion was established. However, the decision was qualified, the Court citing the various important interests in the concept of regulation.

The Court gave three reasons for criminalizing abortion through history. Also, it pointed out the reasons why those reasons were relevant to the case at bar. Firstly, it was pointed out that during the Victorian era, indiscretions in sexual conduct was a great concern. Allowing abortion to be legal would in effect encourage such indiscretions. However, it should be pointed out that this argument was not given a lot of weight nor taken seriously in the instant case.

Secondly, it was pointed out that the process of abortion is quite hazardous and potentially harmful to both the mother and child. The State exerts efforts to insure that pregnant women are protected. It was pointed out, on the other hand, that modern abortions are now relatively safe, particularly those conducted in the first trimester. 

Thirdly, it was said that the State has an interest in preserving and protecting prenatal life.

It was held that during the stage prior to the end of the first trimester, abortion is legal and can and will be left to the judgment of the mother and the medical judgment of the woman’s attending physician. Abortion in this stage cannot be criminalized. This was based on the State’s interest in protecting the health and privacy of the mother.


On the other hand, during the stage after the first trimester, the State is granted authority to regulate and perhaps proscribe abortion  except in the cases where it is necessary for the preservation of the life of the mother. This was based on the State’s interest in protecting the potential life of the child.

More Sample Case Briefs:

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10. Plessy v. Ferguson Case Brief
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3 comments:

  1. Unbelievably that abortion is now prone in some places. Killing a child is a no-no but if it is for the safety of the mother well maybe it considerable but as long as you can save both lives, please no-to-abortion thing.. In the eyes of God they are precious , a gift of eternity, an angel from heaven. We should not stop a baby to see what the world is.
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