Roe v. Wade
The Abortion Rights Controversy in American History
Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
N. E. H. Hull and Peter Charles Hoffer
Few Supreme Court decisions have stirred up as much controversy, vitriolic debate, and even violence as the one delivered in Roe v. Wade in 1973. Four decades later, it remains a touchstone for the culture wars in the United States and a pivot upon which much of our politics turns. With that in mind Peter Charles Hoffer and N. E. H. Hull have now taken stock of the abortion debates, controversies, and cases that have emerged during the past decade in order to update their best-selling book on this landmark case.
Like the original edition, the new one highlights the abortion issue's historical background; highlights Roe v. Wade's core issues, essential personalities, and key precedents; tracks the case's path through the courts; clarifies the jurisprudence behind the court's ruling in Roe; and gauges its impact on American society and subsequent challenges to it in Webster v. Reproductive Services (1989) and Casey v. Planned Parenthood (1992). The new edition, however, adds two completely new chapters covering abortion politics and legal battles in the post-9/11 era, along with a new preface and a much-revised epilogue and conclusion.
“The authors take an evenhanded approach to abortion without advocating a policy position or preaching the moral implications of either side. Thus it is well suited for the classroom as it allows the instructor to facilitate a debate on abortion without alienating large segments of students.”
—Law and Politics Book Review
“A page-turner that is also very scholarly, this remarkable book should be popular with lay readers and law scholars alike.”
—Publishers WeeklySee all reviews...
“While there are hundreds of books on various aspects of abortion in society, this one does an unusually good job of covering the full legal history from Colonial times to the present. Very readable and highly recommended.”
“Skillfully marshals an impressive amount of material from social history, legal history, and politics.”
—Washington Post Book World
“Much more than a compact account of the Supreme Court's basic abortion decisions, Hull and Hoffer’s work ranges widely to locate the constitutional and political controversies over abortion in the context of social movements and women’s history. An astute and balanced guide to a much-debated subject.”
—Mark V. Tushnet, author of Abortion: Constitutional Issues
“Hull and Hoffer move from big-picture issues to key case details without ever losing sight of the very human side of American law and politics. Their book is a wonderful resource for students of all ages looking for basic information and important insights into one of the truly landmark law cases in our nation's history.”
—Sarah Weddington, author of A Question of ChoiceSee fewer reviews...
The new material covers, among other things, the surprising results from recent public opinion polls; the impact of the presidential elections of George W. Bush and Barack Obama; Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito, and Sonia Sotomayor; two major 5-4 Supreme Court decisions—Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood and Gonzales v. Carhart—that confirmed the constitutionality of the "Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act"; the murder of abortion provider George Tiller by Scott Roeder and the latter's trial and conviction; and the appearance of the abortion issue in the debate over health care reform legislation.