Roe v. Wade Anniversary

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The issue of abortion is center stage in Washington Wednesday.

It is the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, people are speaking out on both sides of the issue.

At the Washington Convention Center, about 8,000 young people from across the nation turned out for a morning anti-abortion rally and Mass hosted by Roman Catholic bishops from the region.

They heard from a Franciscan priest who rapped a message against abortion.

The mostly Roman Catholic crowd is expected to join a huge non-denominational group of demonstrators on the National Mall later Wednesday for the annual March for Life.

Several Democratic presidential candidates joined abortion-rights supporters for a dinner Tuesday night.

Extended Web Coverage

Roe v. 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.