Will the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade?

In its 7-2 decision in January 1973 in Jane Roe et al v. Henry Wade, District Attorney of Dallas County (Texas), the United States Supreme Court held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provided a “right to privacy” that allows pregnant women to choose whether or not to have an abortion.

States that had previously strictly limited abortions or barred them altogether, based on longstanding legal tradition in the United States, were enjoined by the nation’s highest court from interfering with this newly defined “right.”

Since then, some 62 million unborn children have been aborted in the United States.

On Dec. 1, 2021, the Supreme Court will hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that is widely seen as the most momentous test of Roe to date. At issue is the constitutionality of Mississippi’s 2018 law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. As one legal insider sees it, Dobbs represents the “best chance, the best facts, the best law” with which to finally overturn both Roe and Casey.

CNA is providing a series of stories examining Roe and Dobbs in detail.

The Latest

Anna Del Duca (right) and her daughter, Frances, traveled from Pittsburgh to attend a pro-life rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 1, 2021, in conjunction with oral arguments for the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization abortion case.

Pro-life legal experts say they're encouraged by justices' questions in Dobbs abortion case

Three legal experts are expressing optimism for a pro-life victory in the U.S. Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s... Read more

A pro-life march in Mexico City, Oct. 3, 2021.

What would the overturning of Roe mean for Latin America?

Dec 2, 2021

By David Ramos

If the US Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion across the country in 1973, what... Read more

U.S. President Joe Biden arrives at the Vatican to meet Pope Francis Oct. 29, 2021

Pro-life leaders react to President Joe Biden's statements about Dobbs abortion case

Dec 1, 2021

By CNA Staff

President Joe Biden reaffirmed his support of Roe v. Wade on Wednesday, in response to a question about the Dobbs... Read more

Pro-life advocates at the 45th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., Jan. 19, 2018.

Pro-life leaders, legal experts speak out after Dobbs arguments at US Supreme Court

Dec 1, 2021

By Autumn Jones

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, concerning Mississippi’s... Read more

Pro-life advocates demonstrate in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on December 1, 2021. - The justices weigh whether to uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks and overrule the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

Notable moments from the Supreme Court arguments over Mississippi abortion law

Dec 1, 2021

By Christine Rousselle

Oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization have concluded. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about the constitutionality... Read more

Students from Liberty University pray in front of the U.S. Supreme Court during oral arguments in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization abortion case on Dec. 1, 2021.

One 'core' issue may decide the Dobbs abortion case. Here's why

Dec 1, 2021

By Shannon Mullen

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments about the constitutionality of Mississippi’s 15-week state abortion ban Wednesday, a high-stakes test... Read more

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, outgoing chair of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, presents pro-life initiative Walking with Moms in Need to the U.S. bishops in Baltimore, Nov. 17, 2021.

US bishops respond to Supreme Court arguments in Dobbs v Jackson

Dec 1, 2021

By Autumn Jones

Catholic leaders offered statements and prayers leading up to and following the oral arguments in the case Dobbs v. Jackson... Read more

Former US Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Nov. 30, 2021.

Mike Pence calls on Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade

Nov 30, 2021

By Katie Yoder

Former vice president Mike Pence is calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling... Read more

Pro-life and pro-abortion advocates outside of the Supreme Court during oral arguments in the case Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, March 2, 2016.

7 things to know about the Dobbs abortion case now before the Supreme Court

Nov 30, 2021

By Katie Yoder

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a historic case on Dec. 1 that directly challenges Roe v. Wade, the 1973... Read more

The exterior of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

What makes Dobbs the best, and possibly last, chance to overturn Roe? 

Nov 28, 2021

By Matt Hadro

Legal experts say the Dobbs case presents an ideal opportunity for the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider previous rulings that... Read more

Adult and young people hold signs protesting abortion.

Faith leaders unite to ‘Pray for Dobbs,’ the case that could overturn Roe

Nov 22, 2021

By Katie Yoder

Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians recently united for a day of prayer in anticipation for an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court... Read more

People praying at an abortion clinic.

A Roe v. Wade reading list: Must-read books to understand the landmark abortion ruling

Nov 22, 2021

By Alejandro Bermudez

With oral arguments for the greatest challenge to Roe v. Wade in a half century set for Dec. 1, readers... Read more

Dorinda Chiappetta Bordlee, a New Orleans-based attorney.

Pro-life attorney: 'No court should be able to usurp state laws that protect human life'

Nov 21, 2021

By Kate Olivera

Dorinda Chiappetta Bordlee, a New Orleans-based attorney, is one of 240 pro-life women to sign an amicus brief with the... Read more

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Leading pro-life bishops: Catholic Church must be prepared if Roe overturned

Nov 18, 2021

By Katie Yoder

The Catholic Church must be prepared to act if Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide,... Read more

Ramona Treviño is a former employee of Planned Parenthood who is now a leading Hispanic pro-life advocate.

Reversing Roe could strengthen Hispanic families, pro-life leader believes

Nov 16, 2021

By ACI Prensa

Reversing Roe v. Wade could strengthen the Hispanic community in the United States, according to Ramona Treviño, a former director... Read more

Angela Wu Howard, a legal scholar with Becket, a nonprofit organization that focuses on religious liberty issues.

Abortion is failing women: An interview with Angela Wu Howard

Oct 25, 2021

By Autumn Jones

Legal scholar Angela Wu Howard is one of the signers of an amicus brief in the Dobbs abortion case that... Read more

Young people hold signs opposing abortion during the March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Will Roe be overturned? Here are 6 notable Supreme Court decisions that have been struck down

Oct 22, 2021

By Carl Bunderson

Interest in instances where the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned its prior decisions is heightened now because of Dobbs v.... Read more

Supporters for and against legal abortion face off during a protest outside the United States Supreme Court.

Why legal abortion is bad precedent: Roe v. Wade critics make the case to Supreme Court

Oct 22, 2021

By Kevin J. Jones

As the Supreme Court considers whether to overturn its precedents mandating legal abortion nationwide, critics of legal abortion have argued... Read more

Texas state capitol building

Supreme Court to hear challenges to Texas heartbeat law

Oct 22, 2021

By Matt Hadro, Katie Yoder

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to consider two legal challenges to Texas’ pro-life heartbeat law, just weeks before it... Read more

Hispanic pro-life advocate Mayra Rodriguez speaks to a crowd of over 300,000 during Mexico’s “March for Women and Life,” on Oct. 3 2021.

Planned Parenthood whistleblower turned Hispanic pro-life leader details clinic corruption, intimidation

Oct 19, 2021

By ACI Prensa

During her tenure with Planned Parenthood, Mayra Rodríguez said she witnessed falsified abortion records, serious complications from abortions, and experienced... Read more