Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary

Roe V. Wade (1973)

A U.S. Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled that abortions (previously limited to those necessary to save a woman's life) are legal, and any state law that denied the right of a woman to have an abortion in the first trimester (three months) of pregnancy was a denial of her right to privacy under the due process guarantee in the Fourteenth Amendment. Until this ruling, every state had laws making an elective abortion a crime.