First of all, Roe v. Wade is one of the most despicable documents in history. It and slavish submission to it are responsible philosophically for the deaths of millions of human beings since 1973. That itself is enough to earn this little volume a zero. Less than zero.
But if a person simply hopes to be objective and neutral, and approach the subject of abortion with an open mind and learn about Roe v. Wade by reading the original, full text, this volume fails. Why? Because it blatantly omits three additional dissenting and concurring opinions, ones that might give insight to the true meaning of Roe. In particular, it does not include the scathing dissenting opinion of Justice Bryon White, joined by Justice William Rhenquist, who later became Chief Justice.
If you want to be educated about Roe, don’t buy this book. In fact, there are no easily available sources of White’s opinion. You will find it referenced on anti-abortion websites, but those are too easily dismissed. The copy of Roe I have is from a bound law book in the law library at our county courthouse. Because abortion is about blood and death, the truth about Roe v. Wade is hidden. If you want to find the complete text, you will have to dig.
White wrote: “I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of 50 States are constitutionally disentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the mother on the other hand. As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to what it does today: but in my view its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.”
Justice White wrote those words above and much more. His dissent is one of the best reviews of Roe v. Wade. But don’t take my word for it. Find the complete text somewhere. Unfortunately it’s not in this volume.