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Unformatted text preview: 410 U.S. 113, 93 S.Ct. 705, 35 L.Ed.2d 147 Supreme Court of the United States Jane ROE, et al., Appellants, v. Henry WADE. No. 70-18. Argued Dec. 13, 1971. Reargued Oct. 11, 1972. Decided Jan. 22, 1973. Rehearing Denied Feb. 26, 1973. See 410 U.S. 959, 93 S.Ct. 1409. Sarah R. Weddington, Austin, Tex., for appellants. Robert C. Flowers, Asst. Atty. Gen. of Texas, Austin, Tex., for appellee on reargument. Jay Floyd, Asst. Atty. Gen., Austin, Tex., for appellee on original argument. *116 Mr. Justice BLACKMUN delivered the opinion of the Court. This Texas federal appeal and its Georgia companion, Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179, 93 S.Ct. 739, 35 L.Ed.2d 201, present constitutional challenges to state criminal abortion legislation. The Texas statutes under attack here are typical of those that have been in effect in many States for approximately a century. The Georgia statutes, in contrast, have a modern cast and are a legislative product that, to an extent at least, obviously reflects the influences of recent attitudinal change, of advancing medical knowledge and techniques, and of new thinking about an old issue. We forthwith acknowledge our awareness of the sensitive and emotional nature of the abortion controversy, of the vigorous opposing views, even among physicians, and of the deep and seemingly absolute convictions that the subject inspires. One's philosophy, one's experiences, one's exposure to the raw edges of human existence, one's religious training, one's attitudes toward life and family and their values, and the moral standards one establishes and seeks to observe, are all likely to influence and to color one's thinking and conclusions about abortion. In addition, population growth, pollution, poverty, and racial overtones tend **709 to complicate and not to simplify the problem. Our task, of course, is to resolve the issue by constitutional measurement, free of emotion and of predilection. We seek earnestly to do this, and, because we do, we *117 have inquired into, and in this opinion place some emphasis upon, medical and medical-legal history and what that history reveals about man's attitudes toward the abortion procedure over the centuries. We bear in mind, too, Mr. Justice Holmes' admonition in his now- vindicated dissent in Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45, 76, 25 S.Ct. 539, 547, 49 L.Ed. 937 (1905): ‘(The Constitution) is made for people of fundamentally differing views, and the accident of our finding certain opinions natural and familiar, or novel, and even shocking, ought not to conclude our judgment upon the question whether statutes embodying them conflict with the Constitution of the United States.’ I The Texas statutes that concern us here are Arts. 1191-1194 and 1196 of the State's Penal Code,FN1 Vernon's Ann.P.C. These make it a crime to ‘procure an abortion,’ as therein *118 defined, or to attempt one, except with respect to ‘an abortion procured or attempted by medical advice for the purpose of saving the life of the...
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