US Supreme Court, 1973

U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Roe v. Wade 

Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015

On January 22, 1973 the United States Supreme Court released one of the most widely recognized and heatedly contested rulings in its history, the decision in the case Roe v. Wade. The justices ruled 7 – 2 that a Texas state law banning the termination of pregnancy, except to save the life of the mother, violated women’s right to privacy, as protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The case was filed as a class action suit on behalf of Norma L. McCorvey, a pregnant resident of Texas, where abortion was legal only to save the life of the pregnant woman. McCorvey’s attorneys filed the suit, under the pseudonym “Roe” to protect McCorvey’s privacy, against Henry B. Wade, District Attorney of Dallas County.

At the time that Roe was decided, termination of pregnancy was prohibited by law in most states, except to save the life of the pregnant woman or as a remedy in strictly limited cases, such as pregnancies involving fetal anomaly, rape or incest. Roe struck down those laws, but, in the intervening three decades, the Court has upheld a wide variety of federal and state legislation limiting the legal termination of pregnancy.


To commemorate the City of Troy’s 60th Anniversary in 2015, we will publish a different story each day that highlights a person, discovery, or event that occurred locally, regionally, nationally, or even globally between 1955 and 2015 and that helped shape our lives and our community. We will try to post stories on important anniversary dates, but we also realize that dates are less critical than content and context. We will include the facts related to controversial stories, allowing our readers to form their own opinions. We invite you to read and comment on the stories. Your suggestions for topics are also welcome and can be posted on our Facebook page, www.troyhistoricvillage/facebook. You can also email stories or ideas to the 365 Story Editor at

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