Roe v Wade: What is US Supreme Court ruling on abortion?

In 1969, a 25-year-old single woman, Norma McCorvey under the pseudonym "Jane Roe", challenged the criminal abortion laws in Texas. The state forbade abortion as unconstitutional, except in cases where the mother's life was in danger.

What was Roe v Wade about?

Defending the anti-abortion law was Henry Wade - the district attorney for Dallas County - hence Roe v Wade.

The case created the "trimester" system that: – gives American women an absolute right to an abortion in the first three months (trimester) of pregnancy – allows some government regulation in the second trimester of pregnancy – declares that states may restrict or ban abortions in the last trimester as the foetus nears the point where it could live outside the womb

How did the case change women's rights?

In the 49 years since Roe v Wade, anti-abortion campaigners have regained some lost ground. In 1980 the US Supreme Court upheld a law that banned the use of federal funds for abortion except when necessary to save a woman's life.

What restrictions on abortion have been introduced since?

The Supreme Court is considering a case which challenges Mississippi's ban on abortion after 15 weeks. If the court rules in favour of Mississippi, it will effectively end the constitutional right to an abortion, and make abortion rights a decision for individual states once again.

What's the current challenge to Roe v Wade?