Pro-life activists in the United States are successfully chipping away at a woman’s freedom to have an abortionby Jessica Abrahams / June 18, 2015 / Leave a comment
Published in July 2015 issue of Prospect Magazine
In 1969, a 21-year-old Texan woman named Norma McCorvey fell pregnant for the third time. McCorvey had led a deeply sad life, repeatedly the victim of domestic and sexual violence. She had her first child at the age of 18, the result of an abusive relationship, but soon lost custody of the child. A year later she became pregnant again and gave the child up for adoption. This third time she was determined not to see the pregnancy through. But in 1969 Texas still banned abortions, except in cases where the mother’s life was at risk.
McCorvey turned to two lawyers, Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington, for help. They took her case to court on the grounds that the Texan ban breached the 14th amendment of the United States constitution, which protects citizens’ right to privacy against state action. It became one of the most famous Supreme Court cases in history: Roe v Wade.