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Jane Roe a symbol of pro-choice struggle

Jane Roe
Listen to Constanza Mazzotti's voice note.

In 1973 Texas law stated that abortion was prohibited, but a woman, now known as Jane Roe, who did not want to be pregnant because of financial problems, turned the laws against it upside down not only in that state but made it a constitutional right throughout the United States. 

Norma McCorvey, a 22-year-old American woman, was given the alias Jane Roe at the time by lawyers because of the terms of protection and confidentiality her case entailed.

This is because, even though in 1973, the year Jane Roe's case came to public light, abortion was already approved in some U.S. states, such as California and New York, it was not in Texas, where Jane Roe resided.

In the 1960s and 1970s abortion was widely legal in four states and permitted under limited circumstances in 16 other states.

It was in 1968 when Ronald Reagan, then Republican governor of California, signed the "Therapeutic Abortion Act" while in 1970 in New York City, the right to abortion was signed without the need for women to give any kind of explanation to the authorities as long as it was performed within the first two trimesters of gestation.

By July 1, 1970, the first abortion clinic would have opened in New York City.

Jane Roe, the woman who fought for abortion, would have a more complicated and bittersweet but no less winning road ahead.

The case «Roe vs. Wade»

Single, unemployed and expecting her third child, Norma McCorvey, a waitress originally from Dallas, sued Henry Wade, the Texas District Attorney in a landmark lawsuit to claim her right to an abortion.

Hence, the lawsuit that served to consitutionally legalize abortion in the United States acquired its name, "Roe v. Wade".

The battle was far from straightforward as the lawsuit involved a federal dispute against Texas Attorney General Wade arguing that the laws prohibiting abortion in that state were unconstitutional.

In January 1973 the federal judges in the Northern District of Texas finally ruled seven votes to two in favor of the plaintiff, however, by that time, Jane had already given birth to her third child whom she placed for adoption.

Wade" is synonymous with "the most controversial decision in the history of the Supreme Court" and continues to be so, since on May 2 of this year, tensions over abortion rights were reopened by the leak of a document written by Justice Samuel Alito, which indicated that the Supreme Court would overturn Roe v. Wade, giving rise to multiple demonstrations for and against this right throughout the United States.

With information from CNN

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