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Roe vs. Wade Anniversary

Wednesday marks 30 years since the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision legalized abortion in all 50 states and people on both sides of the abortion debate are making their voices heard.

This weekend hundreds of abortion opponents rallied in front of the state Capitol, praying, cheering and listening to speakers invited by rally organizers from Colorado Right to Life.

About 20 abortion-rights advocates peacefully demonstrated nearby.

Roe vs. Wade

About the Ruling

  • It created a new, basic constitutional right for women in the right to privacy that the Supreme Court had created only a few years earlier. That right to privacy was "broad enough to encompass a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy."

  • It authorized no legal restrictions on abortion in the first three months.

  • Abortion was allowed until birth if one licensed physician judged it necessary for the mother’s "health."

  • Declares that states may restrict or ban abortions in the last trimester as the fetus nears the point where it could live outside the womb. In this trimester a woman can obtain an abortion despite any legal ban only if doctors certify it is necessary to save her life or health.

    About the Case

  • Jan. 22, 1973, 25-year-old, Norma McCorvey challenged the criminal abortion laws in Texas.

  • McCorvey first filed the case in 1969. She was pregnant with her third child and claimed she was raped, but the case was rejected and she was forced to give birth. In 1987, McCorvey announced that her rape testimony was false.

  • In 1973, McCorvey filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Source: A collection of Web Reports contributed to this report.


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