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

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

Aultman in her first year of private practice, outside her office, which was under construction.

From abortionist to pro-life leader: What changed this doctor's heart?

Oct 14, 2021

By Kate Olivera

Kathi Aultman thought she found her calling as a doctor for Planned Parenthood, but God had other plans. Read more

Lynn Fitch, the Mississippi Attorney General.

Supreme Court must return abortion debate to voters and legislatures, says Mississippi brief

Oct 13, 2021

By Kevin J. Jones

The Supreme Court’s precedents on legal abortion are so tangled and misguided that abortion law should be returned to the... Read more

Pro-life feminists participate at the Women's March in Washington D.C. on Jan. 21, 2017.

Why women didn’t need Roe to get ahead: An interview with the head of Secular Pro-Life

Oct 12, 2021

By Christine Rousselle

This December, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in the abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health... Read more

The sixth national Walk for Life in Zagreb, Croatia, May 29, 2021.

How does U.S. abortion law compare to those in European countries?

Oct 11, 2021

By Luke Coppen, Hannah Brockhaus

The United States is one of only seven countries that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and its... Read more

Elizabeth Kirk, research associate and lecturer at CUA's Columbus School of Law.

Profiles of pro-life women: A Q&A with Elizabeth Kirk

Oct 5, 2021

By Jonah McKeown

This December, the US Supreme Court is set to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that many... Read more

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Do women need abortion to succeed? Women legal scholars say no

Oct 4, 2021

By Katie Yoder

In a legal brief in the pivotal Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health Organization abortion case before the U.S. Supreme Court,... Read more

Pope Francis’ general audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Sept. 29, 2021.

Respect Life: Pope Francis’ 8 strongest statements against abortion

Oct 4, 2021

By Courtney Mares

When it comes to abortion, Pope Francis has been a clear defender of the humanity of an unborn child. Read more

Terrisa Bukovinac speaks at a rally launching the The Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising in Washington, D.C., Oct. 1, 2021.

Progressive pro-life group holds first rally outside US Supreme Court

Oct 1, 2021

By Christine Rousselle

A new pro-life organization aimed at mobilizing progressives and those on the political left launched Friday at a rally outside... Read more

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

Appeals court may wait to rule on Georgia abortion law until Dobbs is decided

Sep 28, 2021

By Christine Rousselle

A federal appeals court is holding off on deciding whether to continue to block a Georgia pro-life law until the... Read more

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House responds to Texas pro-life law, passes bill codifying 'right' to abortion

Sep 24, 2021

By Matt Hadro

The House on Friday passed legislation overriding state pro-life laws and removing limits on abortion up to the point of... Read more

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Justice Department asks Supreme Court to uphold legal abortion  

Sep 21, 2021

By Matt Hadro

The Justice Department on Monday asked the Supreme Court to uphold Roe v. Wade, the court’s 1973 ruling that legalized... Read more

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Supreme Court sets argument date for challenge to Roe v. Wade

Sep 20, 2021

By Matt Hadro

The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will hear arguments in a critical abortion case on Dec. 1. Read more

An unborn baby at 20 weeks -- well within the second trimester, when dilation and evacuation abortions are commonly performed.

Supreme Court poised to hear biggest challenge to Roe v Wade in 48 years

Sep 17, 2021

By Alejandro Bermudez

Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic, presented its legal argument Monday for why the U.S. Supreme Court should... Read more

U.S. Supreme Court building

More than 75 briefs filed supporting Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban at Supreme Court   

Aug 3, 2021

By Kate Scanlon

More than 75 amicus briefs have been filed at the Supreme Court supporting Mississippi’s ban on most elective abortions after... Read more

CNA

Democratic Senators warn of court-packing if Roe is altered by Supreme Court

May 24, 2021

By Kate Scanlon

Democratic senators have argued that overturning or otherwise limiting Roe v. Wade would pave the way to change the size... Read more