Roe v. Wade

The personhood movement has its origins in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the very Supreme Court case which struck down state statutes on abortion. When the state of Texas was presenting its case, it argued that a fetus was a person within the language and meaning of the 14th amendment, and therefore protected. In writing his opinion Justice Blackmun claimed he could find no basis for such status. He noted, however, that “If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case (Roe’s case), of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be protected.”