By | 22 Jan 2023 at 12:54 AM
Roe vs Wade Day 2023: Date, History, Facts about Abortions

Roe vs Wade Day 2023: January 22 marks the forty-eighth anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision that established a woman’s right to abortion. Since it was first decided in 1973, Roe vs. Wade has had a profound impact on the lives of millions of women in the United States, and countless more around the world. On this special day, we reflect on how far we have come since that landmark ruling, but also look ahead to what still needs to be done in order to ensure access to safe and legal abortions for all people who need them. In this article, we will explore what Roe vs. Wade is, its history, and how it has shaped reproductive rights in America today.

What is Roe vs. Wade?

The Roe vs. Wade decision was a Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. The case began when Norma McCorvey, known as “Jane Roe”, filed a suit against Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade in an effort to overturn the Texas state law that made abortion illegal. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of Roe, and the decision has been credited with helping to improve access to safe and legal abortions for women across the United States.

Roe vs. Wade has been incredibly contentious since it was first decided, and there have been numerous attempts to overturn the ruling. However, it remains the law of the land, and January 22nd – the anniversary of the decision – has come to be known as “Roe vs. Wade Day”.

Where are we now

Unfortunately, on June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that made abortion access a federal right in the United States. The decision dismantled fifty years of legal protection and opened the door for states to restrict or outright ban abortion rights.


In 1969, Norma McCorvey, then 21 years old, discovered she was pregnant with her third child. Norma desired an abortion but encountered obstacles due to Texas law. Initially, she intended to follow the advice of her friends, who advised her to claim the pregnancy was the result of rape, as she believed Texas law permitted abortions in cases of rape. However, at the time, Texas law only permitted abortions if they were necessary to save the mother’s life. Additionally, she attempted to obtain an illegal abortion, but the facility was shut down by police. Norma’s frustrations are reminiscent of the lack of control women had over their bodies before Roe v. Wade, when they had to lie or break the law to decide whether or not to keep an unwanted child.

Norma sought assistance from two attorneys, Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington. In 1970, attorneys representing Norma filed a lawsuit under the alias “Jane Roe.” After the initial round of arguments, all seven justices of the court agreed that the law should be invalidated, but for different reasons.

However, Justice Harry Blackmun proposed that the case be reargued, and on October 11, 1972, Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade argued the case again before the Supreme Court. On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that women in the United States had the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion without excessive government interference. The Texas abortion ban was declared unconstitutional and an infringement on the right to privacy by the court. Unfortunately, the case dragged on so long that Norma McCorvey gave birth and her child was adopted.

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  • Year after year, the total number of abortions in the United States has decreased, possibly due to easier access to birth control options.
  • Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, there are various types of abortions, ranging from medication abortion to surgical abortion.
  • Legal abortions are extremely safe, with less than one percent of first trimester abortions resulting in complications.
  • Approximately one-fourth of all pregnancies are terminated annually.

Over the age of 50, abortion is only permitted if the mother’s life or health is endangered by the pregnancy.


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