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Roe v: Wade Decision


            The Roe v: Wade decision occurred on January 22, 1973. This case is one of the most well known, most commonly referred to, and constantly mentioned Supreme Court decisions ever. However, when I looked in it up in the New York Times, I was amazed to discover that it did not even make top headline. President Lyndon B. Johnson's sudden heart attack in Texas overshadowed this landmark decision. The death of Lyndon B. Johnson could not have come at a worse time for pro-choice advocates because his death stole their long-awaited publicity. .
             On the front page of the New York Times on January 23, 1973, following a headline announcing the death of President Lyndon B. Johnson was, "High Court Rules Abortion Legal First Three Months," in a font half the size of Johnson's. The story coinciding with the Roe v: Wade headline was placed in the bottom left corner of the front page, whereas Johnson's death announcement consumed most of the front page. The article for Roe v: Wade was very small, concise, and inconspicuous. .
             The article with reference to Roe v: Wade basically just highlighted the details of the decision and stated how each member of the Supreme Court voted. It also gave background into the case, such as how it came to be and what effect this decision would have on the future, but at that time, the reporters obviously did not perceive just how important it would be on the future. I had assumed that, because the case is such a big deal today, it would have been an even bigger deal at the time, but surprisingly, that was not the case. From what I had previously understood about Roe v: Wade, I was led to believe that it was as highly controversial at the time as it is today. Even though Lyndon B. Johnson did die suddenly the same day as the decision, it seems that if this case was still of significance it would have at the very least received more space on the front page. Additionally, I read an article from a few days after the decision and I was unable to locate an article dealing with the decision, even in the very back pages of the New York Times.


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