Abortion Essay, Research Paper
The Constitutionality of Abortion
Abortion is a widely debated subject. In the Roe v. Wade case the court recognized a guarantee of personal privacy which is broad enough to encompass a woman s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. (Taken from the dissenting opinion of William H. Rehnquist). Terminating a pregnancy is a very touchy subject with a lot of people. It is a tough decision made by the mother and they have to live with that decision for the rest of their lives. That is why some people think that they should not have the choice taken away from them. The courts can decide that your body fluids aren t yours if you have an unusual viral antibody. That is what happened to a by the name of John Moore from Seattle. He tried to sue the hospital but the courts found that they could take his blood for the use of research, against his will, to be able to save other people s lives. Why can they take this man s blood against his will when they say what happens to your body (in terms of abortion) only you can decide? It s a woman s right to choose to abort a human being because it s her own body and who are we to tell her what she can and can t do with it? If a pregnancy is a healthy one and the baby was voluntarily conceived, then there should be some sort of abortion penalty, minus special circumstances if the mother has run risks of allowing the pregnancy to reach certain stages, as to the second trimester. Women should be treated as responsible people and should have to live with their decisions and choices of getting pregnant instead of trying to reverse them whenever it suits them. Some women do these awful things. Women have the right to vote and they are not going to lose their power and rights as long as they can vote. Women have a right to privacy as so do men but why should they be the only gender to have complete control over their private matters?
For thousands of years people have had abortion illegal after the quickening of the baby. (When it starts to kick). Some people say that this has been happening since the Greek times. Aristole even said, the line between lawful and unlawful abortion will be marked by the fact of having the sensation of being alive. This is where viability comes into play. Many people believe that you can terminate a pregnancy up until viability. Viability is a hard thing to determine. When is a child considered viable? A baby can breathe, taste, hear, touch, smell, etc. Also a fetus can think and remember. It remembers the mother s voice after it is born. People may make their own choices because that is what the law says and until otherwise that is the way it is going to be. Women seem to have way more choices then men do. Take for instance prostitution. Women can not sell their bodies legally but they do and nobody looks at it as a major issue. Why isn t legal if they can have abortions and have rights to their own bodies? It does not seem to make sense.
For a long time in the United States abortion laws were in effect when Roe v. Wade was first decided. A majority of the states prohibited abortion unless the health of the mother was in jeopardy. This seemed to work but some people were still having abortions illegally and not by professionals. This sometimes resulted in the death of the mother as well and the death of the unborn child. For this issue abortion should stay legal in some people s eyes.
Another aspect of this issue is the fact that the courts can change their minds. Our Constitutional watch does not cease merely because we have spoken before on an issue; when it becomes clear that a prior constitutional interpretation is unsound, we are to reexamine the question. (Taken from Rehnquist’s dissenting opinion.) This is a profound statement because all the cases that are ruled on earlier are subject to be overturned by the court. Decisions can be changed when new evidence and cases arise. Some cases that deal with this are the separate but equal doctrine that was in place for 58 years after the ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson. After the people get used to these major decisions it is hard to change them without having protesting and other problems. But the court still did overturn or correct this decision because it interpreted the constitution differently at a later date. The change that the court found was that the Fourteenth Amendment does not permit racial segregation. This seems to be very rational. Some of the court s decisions were based or made on politics pressure . In reality is that fair? There always will be two sides to a controversy.
So should abortion be protected by the Constitution? Yes and no. For medical reasons, yes and an unborn fetus should have rights as a human to be able to live. The fetus is obviously in the mother s care until it can take care of itself but the mother and father can be punished for hurting and/or abusing a child. A mother must not do drugs, smoke, drink or put anything in her body during the entire time she is pregnant so they baby can be protected and healthy, so doesn t that mean that the child has right s too? It sure seems that way. It is a question that will never be completely answered. There will be more debates on this subject for many years to come. No matter what happens no one will ever be satisfied.