January 22, 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of Roe V. Wade, the Supreme Court decisions that made abortion legal in the US. A woman’s right to have an abortion was permitted by law on the basis of right to privacy under the concept of personal liberty founded in the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.
What are the implications of Roe V. Wade?
- During the first trimester of pregnancy, States are prohibited from interfering with a woman’s choice for an abortion
- Second trimester provisions include regulating the conditions under which an abortion could be performed to protect the safety of the woman
- Third trimester abortion bans are only permitted except where the woman’s life or health is endangered
During this well-known anniversary we also celebrate a similar yet lesser known Supreme Court decision on Doe V. Bolton in the State of Georgia.
What does Doe V. Bolton mean?
- Abortion procedures can be performed in a licensed ambulatory surgical center and are no longer restricted to licensed hospitals
- No abortion committee approval is required for women to attain an abortion
Together the provisions made under Doe and Roe allow women the right to access abortion care.
Subsequent Supreme Court cases impacted the meaning of Roe/Doe which allows States like Georgia to enact other restrictions on abortion access including a wait time of 24 hours prior to procedure, mandatory “education” on the negative effects of abortion and limited public abortion funding for uninsured women.