Roe vs Wade Effects on the Political Landscape

In 1973 the United States Supreme Court voted 7 to 2 to overturn a Texas law against abortion on the grounds that it was too vague and deemed abortion is a fundamental right guaranteed by the United States Constitution. The ruling effectively legalized abortion for women in America and ignited a divisive political spark that has had social reverberations that continue to emanate in the 21st century. It decided that a woman has the right to an abortion, up to a certain time limit in her pregnancy and that the woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy outweighs any rights the unborn fetus might possess. The ruling has been controversial from the beginning and has split the country down the middle, with those who support the ruling on one side, and those who disagree with it on the other. While the exact ramifications of the decision are as strongly contested as the decision itself, a number of themes have been consistently identified by scholars and cultural analysts as significant social effects on society as a result of the court ruling.The question for the Supreme Court ruling of this kind is to determine the meaning of the term liberty. The justices don’t simply, or at least shouldn’t, define liberty any way they want since they are not legislators or members of the executive branch. Because the justices are judges, their role is quite different. When called upon to decide whether a federal or state law is constitutional, they are being asked to decide whether the law at issue is at odds with our highest law, the Constitution. This is why, in explaining the constitutional decision to the world, the Supreme Court is obligated to justify its result by citing the part of the Constitution at issue and engaging in legal reasoning as to its meaning and how it should be applied. What will not do is to make a political appeal such as the American people want.