Before Roe v. Wade
Voices that Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
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The Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade legalized abortion–but the debate was far from over, continuing to be a political battleground to this day. In the decades since the case was decided, the American debate on abortion has moved away from the issues that the justices confronted more than three decades ago. Bringing to light key voices that illuminate the case and its cultural context, Before Roe v. Wade looks back and recaptures how the arguments for and against abortion took shape as claims about the meaning of the Constitution—and about how the nation could best honor its commitment to dignity, liberty, equality, and life.
In this ground-breaking book, Linda Greenhouse, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who covered the Supreme Court for 30 years for The New York Times, and Reva Siegel, a renowned professor and former deputy dean at Yale Law School, collect the most significant historical, cultural, and legal documents which helped shape the Supreme Court’s controversial decision.
Linda Greenhouse began covering the Supreme Court for The New York Times in 1978. With the exception of two years during the mid-1980's, during which she covered Congress, she served as the paper's regular Supreme Court correspondent until 2008. Previously, she covered local and state government and politics for the Times in New York, and was chief of the newspaper's legislative bureau in Albany. She has appeared as a Washington Week panelist since 1980.
She is a graduate of Radcliffe College, where she currently serves on the advisory committee to the Schlesinger Library on the History of American Women. She earned a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale Law School, and has several honorary degrees.
For her coverage of the Court, she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism (beat reporting) in 1998. In 2004, she received the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
Reva Siegel is the Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Professor of Law at Yale University. Her publications include The Constitution in 2020 (edited with Jack Balkin, 2009); Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking (with Brest, Levinson, Balkin & Amar, 2006) and Directions in Sexual Harassment Law (edited with Catharine A. MacKinnon, 2004). Professor Siegel received her B.A., M.Phil, and J.D. from Yale University, clerked for Judge Spottswood Robinson on the D.C. Circuit, and began teaching at the University of California at Berkeley. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is active in the American Society for Legal History, the American Association of Law Schools, the American Constitution Society, in the national organization and as faculty advisor of Yale’s chapter.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Linda Greenhouse examines the public discourse that led to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. She details the various legal briefs presented by both sides of the abortion debate to the court -- and explains the newest challenges facing the legislation today. More at NPR.org
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