The Right To Choose Essay, Research Paper
The Right To Choose – abortionMany people believe abortion is a moral issue, butit is also a constitutional issue. It is a woman’sright to choose what she does with her body, and itshould not be altered or influenced by anyone else. This right is guaranteed by the ninth amendment, whichcontains the right to privacy. The ninth amendment states: ” The enumeration in theConstitution, of certain rights, shall not beconstrued to deny or disparage others retained bythe people.” This right guarantees the right towomen, if they so choose, to have an abortion, upto the end of the first trimester. Regardless of the fact of morals, a woman has theright to privacy and choice to abort her fetus. The people that hold a “pro-life” view argue that a womanwho has an abortion is killing a child. The “pro-choice”perspective holds this is not the case. A fetus is not yet a baby. It does not posess the criteria derived fromour understanding of living human beings. Ina notable defense of this position, philosopherMary Anne Warren has proposed the following criteriafor “person-hood”:1) consciousness (of objects and events external and orinternal to the being), and in particular the capacityto feel pain. 2) reasoning (the developed capacity to solve newand relatively complex problems)3) self-motivated activity (activity which is relativelyindependent of either genetic or direct external control)4) the capacity to communicate, by whatever means,messages of an indefinite variety of possible contents,but on indefinltely many possible topics. 5) the presence of self-concepts, and self-awareness,either individual or social, or both. (Taking Sides-Volume 3). Several cases have been fought for the right to choose. Many of these have been hard cases with very personalfeelings, but the perserverance showed through andgives us the rights we have today. Here are someimportant cases: 1965 – Griswold v. Connecticut -upheld the right to privacy and ended the ban on birthcontrol. Eight years later, the Supreme Court ruledthe right to privacy included abortions. Roe v. Wadewas based upon this case. 1973 – Roe v. Wade: -The state of Texas had outlawed abortions. The Supreme Courtdeclared the law unconstitutional, but refused toorder an injunction against the state. On January 22, 1973,the Supreme Court voted the right to privacy included abortions.
In 1976, Planned Parenthood v. Danforth (Missouri) ruledthat requiring consent by the husband and the consent from a parentif a person was under 18 was unconstitutional. This case supported a woman’s control over her own bodyand reproductive system.Justice William Brennan stated: “If the right to privacymeans anything, it is the right of the individual, married orsingle, to be free from unwanted governmental intrusioninto matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision tobear or beget a child.”Abortion is one of the most controversial issuesin the world today. Everyone has their own individualopinion. A woman’s body is hers and hers alone. Nobody has the right to make her do something thatshe does not want to. The Supreme Court has statedit is the women’s right to have an abortion, if sheso chooses, according to Roe v. Wade. In later cases however, the Court has upheld Roe in Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992).In the same ruling, though, the Court gave states new powers to restrictaccess to abortions. (Hardy, pg. 189). Abortion deals with one’s private life and should havenothing to do with the government. However, abortionshould not be used as a means of birth control, but ifa fetus will be unwanted, it is better to be aborted than tobe abused or neglected.Many people try to force their beliefs on others and judgethem for their actions. These people needto judge themselves before they start to judgeothers. The bottom line is no matter what anyonethinks the laws speak for themselves. It is a woman’sright to privacy to control her reproductive systemguaranteed by the constitution. Although there are some restrictions on abortion,due to the states’ rights, it is still ultimatelythe woman’s choice. It is not a requirement forsome states to fund for abortions, therefore,especially in these states it should be the woman’schoice. Abortion is an issue of women, and so itshould be the woman’s right to choose. She has thefree will to consider others views and opinions suchas that of the father, but it is her ultimate decisionguaranteed by the law. Dana PentoneyKaren SipesJen RoaneGovernment in Americaby Richard J. Hardycopyright 1994page 189Taking Sides on Clashing Views of ControversialBioethical Issuesby Carol LevineVolume 3copyright 1991pages: 4-8The American Heritage History of the Bill of Rights- The Ninth Amendmentby Phillip A. Klinknercopyright 1991pages: 31, 56, 75-78, 80-87, 110, 116