Roe v. Wade was the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion. The case was decided on January 22, 1973, and was based around an unmarried pregnant woman named Roe, a resident of Texas. She wanted to have an abortion, but state law forbid the procedure. Roe filed a suit against the state of Texas, stating that the abortion law violated her privacy and womens' rights.

The court had a 7-2 decision in favor of Roe, with Burger, Douglas, Brennan, Stewart, Marshall, Powell, and Blackmun concurring. White and Rehnquist dissented. The reasoning behind the ruling was largely vested in the Fourteenth Amendment, specifically the Due Process Clause. The ruling stated that during the first trimester, an abortion was a matter that was only concerned with a woman and her doctor. However, the court made a provision saying that after the first trimester, abortions could be regulated by the state.

Roe v. Wade effected many citizens and made 46 states change their laws. Roe v. Wade is still referenced and relevant today, and is considered one of the most important cases that the Supreme Court has decided.

The decision can be read here: