To learn more about this landmark decision, read these Roe v Wade quotes.
Roe v Wade was a landmark Supreme Court decision that occurred in 1973 and legalized the right to have an abortion.
The decision was a landmark decision because it changed the interpretation of the existing law to legalize abortion.
This case was controversial at the time, and the issue has continued to be controversial in current times.
Besides the differing opinions over if abortion is right or wrong, the case came under scrutiny also as two attorneys striving to legalize abortion solicited “Roe” to be the representative in the case.
Soliciting clients without a prior relationship was illegal.
However, this case was granted an exception because it was declared a public interest case.
The decision brought into focus the moral and religious views of abortion and also questioned when and for what reason abortion should be legal.
To learn more about Roe v. Wade, take a look at these Roe v Wade quotes.
Roe v Wade Quotes Highlighting Both Sides of the Fence
There have been, and continue to be, strong opinions on both sides of the abortion argument.
1. “Roe v Wade was bad law and bad medical science.” — Fred Thompson
2. “Right now, they’re coming for abortion rights.” — Cazembe Murphy Jackson
3. “There will always be issues where an abortion is necessary.” — Ruth Westheimer
4. “I’m against abortion. On the other hand, I believe in a woman’s choice.” — Nancy Reagan
5. “Abortion’s a private decision. But I just think it shouldn’t be federalized.” — Pat Robertson
6. “I think it’s important that (Roe v Wade) remain legal for medical reasons and other reasons.” — Laura Bush
7. “I don’t support abortion. I could never participate in one. But I think it would be a mistake to make them illegal again.” — Jesse Ventura
8. “Abortion is not health care. A woman has a right to her body, but that is not her body. What about the baby?” — Alveda King
9. “Attacks on our human rights will always be met with protest and activism. We will not stop until Reproductive Justice is the law of the land.” — Marcela Howell
10. “Even as a supporter of Roe v Wade, I am compelled to acknowledge that the language both sides use on this subject can be unfortunately misleading and unconstructive… Everyone is worse off for it.” — John F. Kerry
Roe v Wade Quotes from Norma McCorvey
Norma McCorvey was “Jane Roe” in the Supreme Court case. She later shared her regret for her part in the court’s decision and became an anti-abortion activist.
11. “I really didn’t know there was two sides to the abortion issue.” — Norma McCorvey
12. “The abortionist I worked for, he’s a very greedy man, a selfish man.” — Norma McCorvey
13. “I was the Jane Roe of Roe v Wade, but Jane Roe has been laid to rest.” — Norma McCorvey
14. “Instead of helping women in Roe v Wade, I brought destruction to me and millions of women.” — Norma McCorvey
15. “It’s not your body, it’s not your choice, because you got that from God. He gave that to you.” — Normal McCorveey
16. “The holocaust against the unborn is the greatest sin they could ever do or even ever participate in.” — Norma McCorvey
17. “Patients would come in and say, ‘Well, my baby is going to have a cleft palate.’ I’m going, like, that’s not a reason. And the doctor would do the abortion.” — Norma McCorvey
18. “I signed an affidavit that brought the holocaust of abortion onto this nation. … I’m just really grateful I’m in the kingdom of God now, and all is forgiven.” — Norma McCorvey
19. “I don’t think there is a good reason for an abortion, but Dr. Jasper made me really realize it was just a racket. He was just doing it for the money. He didn’t care about women.” — Norma McCorvey
20. I looked at a fetal development chart at the Operation Rescue Office in Dallas. I had a lot of emotions stirring up inside of me. That’s when I decided that it was wrong in any stage of pregnancy.” — Norma McCorvey
Roe v Wade Quotes from Those Who Opposed the Law
There are many reasons people opposed the historic court decision from legal to moral, largely related to the science showing life begins at conception, meaning abortion is killing unborn children.
21. “My view is that Roe v Wade had no basis in law or fact.” — Josh Hawley
22. “Pro-lifers believe there are two victims in an abortion: the unborn child and the woman who felt that that was her best option.” — Kellyanne Conway
23. “Abortion is inherently different from other medical procedures because no other procedure involves the purposeful termination of a potential life.” — Potter Stewart
24. “Thirty-two years after the legalization of abortion by the Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade, the majority of Americans consider themselves pro-life.” — Rick Santorum
25. “You read about me in the history books, but now I am dedicated to spreading the truth about preserving the dignity of all human life from natural conception to natural death.” — Norma McCorvey
26. “I will appoint men and women to the Federal judiciary who share my view of unborn children as constitutionally protected and who will unhesitatingly vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.” — Gary Bauer
27. “America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men.” — Mother Teresa
28. “Among the most famous of these Supreme Court cases of exercise of political power I believe, are the cases of Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton, two 1973 cases based on false statements which created a constitutional right to abortion.” — Sam Brownback
29. “Science has advanced a long way in the 44 years since Roe v. Wade, and it is time that our laws reflect the undeniable truth that life begins at fertilization and that unborn citizens are entitled to the same protections as every American.” — Luther Strange
30. “I was once pro-choice, and the thing that changed my mind was I read my husband’s biology books, medical books, and what I learned… At the moment of conception, a life starts. And this life has its own unique set of DNA, which contains a blueprint for the whole genetic makeup. The sex is determined. We know there’s a life because it’s growing and changing.” — Kathy Ireland
Roe v Wade Quotes from Supporters
Supporters of Roe v. Wade believe women should have control over their bodies and what they do with them. They believe legal abortions help save women from harm or dying from unsafe and illegal procedures.
31. “Prior to Roe V Wade, abortions were common even though they were illegal. I don’t think making them illegal again is going to solve the problem.” — Tony Campolo
32. “Roe v Wade very clearly sets out that there can be regulations on abortion so long as the life and the health of the mother are taken into account.” — Hillary Clinton
33. “The decision to have an abortion is a deeply personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, her God; not her government, and not the public at large.” — Margaret Hoover
34. “We’re always going to argue about abortion. It’s a hard choice, and it’s controversial, and that’s why I’m pro-choice because I want people to make their own choices.” — Hillary Clinton
35. “Frankly, I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.” — Ruth Bader Ginsburg
36. “I strongly support Roe v Wade, which guarantees a constitutional right to a woman to make the most intimate, most difficult, in many cases, decisions about her health care that one can imagine.” — Hillary Clinton
37. “Most people, I think, have accepted that it’s not up to them to control other people’s choices, except, it seems, when it comes to Washington, D.C., where everyone has an opinion about people’s uteruses.” — Shonda Rhimes
38. “The goal of the right is not to stop abortion but to demonize it, punish it and make it as difficult and traumatic as possible. All this it has accomplished fairly well, even without overturning Roe v. Wade.” — Ellen Willis
39. “In 1973, the Roe v. Wade decision concluded that women have a constitutionally protected right to safe and legal abortions. That landmark decision wasn’t the beginning of women having abortions; it was the end of women dying from abortions.” — Jan Schakowsky
40. “We do not ask this Court to rule that abortion is good or desirable in any particular situation. We are here to advocate that the decision as to whether or not a particular woman will continue to carry or will terminate a pregnancy is a decision that should be made by that individual.” — Sarah Weddington
More Roe v Wade Quotes
Here are more opinions from both sides of the argument.
41. “Abortion is legal in the United States, but it should not be celebrated or used as a political tool. Viable babies are human beings.” — Bill O’Reilly
42. “How does a religious employer’s decision not to offer health plans with abortion coverage dictate to anyone what to do with her own body.” — Wendy Long
43.” It has taken them nearly two decades to turn back the principles of Roe. Let’s make sure it takes us a shorter time to replace protection for reproductive choice.” — Sarah Weddington
44. “I personally am opposed to abortion, but I will not judge anybody else’s right in that regard because I am not a woman, and I could never face the actual reality of it.” — Martin Sheen
45. “After ‘Roe v Wade’—when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973—I thought the national conversation about abortion and birth control would be over. It was not.” — Karen DeCrow
46. “By the time I was in high school, Roe v. Wade had passed, so that was also happening; girls were getting pregnant and getting abortions—and that happened in my school too.” — Annette Bening
47. “If Roe and Casey must be overturned because they are hopelessly flawed, then all other cases that rely on their arguments asserting privacy and personal liberty are endangered.” — Jonathan Capehart
48. “The abortion license has not brought freedom and security to women. Rather, it has ushered in a new era of irresponsibility toward women and children, one that now begins before birth.” — Robert Casey
49. “If the American people—pro-choice and pro-life—cannot agree with the basic concept that the life of a baby born alive following a botched abortion should be protected, then when do the rights of these babies begin?” — Mercedes Schlapp
50. “My view is regardless of whether you think prohibiting abortion is good or whether you think prohibiting abortion is bad, regardless of how you come out on that, my only point is the Constitution does not say anything about it. It leaves it up to democratic choice.” — Antonin Scalia
Who Are Roe and Wade?
The case began when Norma McCorvey (pseudonym Jane Roe) became pregnant with her third child in 1969.
“Roe” desired to have an abortion, but Texas law forbade abortions except when a mother’s life was in danger, so she filed a lawsuit against Henry Wade, the district attorney of Dallas County, Texas.
In June 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, thus returning the decision to legalize abortions back to individual states.
Share any other quotes you feel are important in the Roe v. Wade conversation.