Roe v. Wade

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), is a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of abortion. It was decided simultaneously with a companion case, Doe v. Bolton. The Court ruled 7–2 that a right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion, but that this right must be balanced against the state’s two legitimate interests in regulating abortions: protecting women’s health and protecting the potentiality of human life. Arguing that these state interests became stronger over the course of a pregnancy, the Court resolved this balancing test by tying state regulation of abortion to the third trimester of pregnancy.