Case Topics: Abortion, Right to Privacy

“We … acknowledge our awareness of the sensitive and emotional nature of the abortion controversy, of the vigorous opposing views, even among physicians, and of the deep and seemingly absolute convictions that the subject inspires.” — Justice Blackmun (1973), majority opinion in Roe v. Wade

Jane Roe was an unmarried and pregnant Texas resident in 1970. Texas law made it a felony to abort a fetus unless “on medical advice for the purpose of saving the life of the mother.” Roe filed suit against Wade, the district attorney of Dallas County, contesting the statue on the grounds that it violated the guarantee of personal liberty and the right to privacy implicitly guaranteed in the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and 14th Amendments. In deciding for Roe, the Supreme Court invalidated any state laws that prohibited first trimester abortions.

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These materials were developed for students of various skill levels, and teachers should choose the level that works best for their students. Answers to the background questions, vocabulary, and activities can be found in the "Answers & Differentiation Ideas" tab under each case.

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Street Law Activities*

The Case

After the Case

* Answers to the background questions, vocabulary, and activities can be found in the "Answers & Differentiation Ideas" tab under each case.


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