Should Abortion Remain Legal?
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1481 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)
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America is a land of choices and rights, a land of opportunities and freedom but where do we draw the line? On January 22, 1973 the US Supreme Court made a historic decision that a woman has a constitutional right to an abortion during the first six months of pregnancy. Before the Court’s ruling, a majority of states prohibited abortion, although most allowed an exception when pregnancy threatened the woman’s life. The Court overturned these state prohibitions in Roe v. Wade. The Court ruled that states could restrict abortions only during the final three months of pregnancy, a stage when medical experts considered the fetus capable of “meaningful life” outside the womb. The abortion debate has become one of the most divisive political issues in the United States and the Pro-choice, Pro-life campaigns have dominated most of the political debates of this century.
“While Americans hold an enormous variety of opinions on the morality or propriety of abortions for particular reasons or stages of pregnancy or circumstances, a majority continues to agree that it is the individual woman and not government that should do the deciding” (Doerr). Free will is the imperative word here. It is the woman who is faced with the decision, albeit under reasonable circumstances, and she is the one who has to live with the consequences and repercussions of her decisions for the rest of her life. Supporters of abortion such as the pro-choice, Planned Parenthood and other such campaigns firmly believe that under rational scenarios it is the right of the woman to decide. If a woman is denied freedom of choice, her right to be a free moral agent is compromised and seriously diminished. She thereby is reduced to second-class citizenship or worse, her right to choose surrendered to male-dominated legislative bodies, literally "Big Brother." It might be added that compelling a woman to continue a pregnancy violates the Thirteenth Amendment right to freedom from involuntary servitude.
U.S. Supreme Court s breakthrough 1973 ruling that acknowledged and recognized (not "created," as the religious right would have it) every woman's constitutional right to decide for herself whether or not to continue a problem pregnancy. Individual liberty proponents argue that the government has only protected the decision of the women and in no way has encouraged abortion. It has si...
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...and well-respected doctors were, ’under the table’, so to speak, providing abortion services prior to 1967 to women patients whom they knew and who could pay” (Garrow.) Legalizing abortion has prevented a number of horrific coat hanger cases which would have occurred, whether the court ruling existed or not. Now required abortions are performed in a safe and scientific way. I believe that all the states must strictly enforce the circumstances under which these abortions are considered legal. Freedom abused is freedom lost. Just as any other right this must not be abused, especially, since the consequences are permanent and lasting.
Cunningham, Mark. “When argument fails.” National Review 44.21(1992): 42 Austin
Community Coll. Lib., Austin, TX. 11 June 2003
Doerr, Edd. “Roe v. Wade at Thirty” Humanist 63.2 (2003): 40. Austin Community Coll.
Lib., Austin, TX. 11 June 2003
Garrow, David. “Abortion before and after Roe vs. Wade: A historical perspective” Albany
Law Review 62.3 (1999): 833. Austin Community Coll. Lib., Austin, TX. 11 June 2003
Levin, Yuval. “When argument fails.” Public Interest 151(2003): 119. Austin Community
Coll. Lib., Austin, TX. 11 June 2003
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