What did Roe v. Wade decide?
In the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 7-2 that the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects the rights to life, liberty and property, entailed a “right to privacy” that included the right for a woman to procure an abortion up until “the point at which the fetus becomes ‘viable’.”
Roe v. Wade effectively overturned all existing state laws against abortion. Roe v. Wade did allow for some limitations on when abortions could be obtained. However, these limitations were effectively nullified by the court’s decision in Roe’s companion case, Doe v. Bolton, outlined below.