The Legality of Abortion
Because of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, abortion is legal on demand, at any time in the pregnancy, and for effectively any reason whatsoever.
The law concerning abortion in the United States is a very complex issue – and one which is misunderstood by many Americans. It is the prevailing view of many Americans (a view supported by the language used in polls [PDF version]) that abortion is only legal during the first trimester (that is, the first three months) of pregnancy and only for limited reasons (including “the health of the mother” - an exception clause insisted on by all “pro-choice” advocates).
However, the truth of the matter is far more horrific. Abortion is legal, on demand, at any point during pregnancy (right up until the moment of birth) and for any reason. This is due to the marriage of Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton.
Roe vs. Wade established the right of a woman to have an abortion in the first trimester and after that for “health reasons”, but did not clearly define “health”. Doe vs. Bolton (handed down on the same day in 1973) defined “health” so broadly that it was effectively meaningless (emotional distress caused to grandparents was enough to justify the abortion, for example).
Court documents are often long and complex, and the documents pertaining to Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton are no different. However, we reproduce them here - both as PDF files on this website and also as links to a live copy held elsewhere on the internet.