Roe v. Wade

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Roe v. Wade (Jan. 22, 1973) was a U.S. Supreme Court decision which created a new right in the Constitution for a woman to have an abortion, in effect at any time during pregnancy. The Roe decision was issued the same day as Doe v. Bolton, a companion case, which held that states could not prohibit a physician from performing an abortion after the fetus has become "viable" if the physician determines that the abortion is necessary for the "health" of the mother, which could include "physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age," all of which the Court determined were "relevant to the wellbeing of the patient."

The women represented by "Roe" and "Doe" have both since come forward to oppose these decisions, and "Doe" has even described the deceit of the lawsuit brought in her name.

In addition to creating a new constitutional right, Roe v. Wade also created an exception to the usual rule that one must face a threat of imminent prosecution in order to have standing. In Roe, the Court held that there was standing because the alleged injury was said to be "capable of repetition yet evading review."

This decision is therefore one of the most famous examples of law by judicial fiat, that is judges writing the laws. It created a dangerous precedent that is still followed today of the 'living constitution."