Abortion remains one of the most enthusiastically argued societal as well as ethical issues. Both sides offer prevailing arguments for and against abortion. The pro-life groups emphasizes the argument of protecting human life in view of the fact that formation at any cost, to the point of giving complete precedence to the life of the unborn fetus over the life of the mother. The pro-choice group gives emphasis to the argument that a woman must have a right to manage her body to the point of absolutizing her right over the instinctive phenomenon of development of a new living being (Cozic, Charles and Stacey Tipp, 1991, pg 97).
We own our bodies and we generally suppose that a thought, accountable being has the right to decide what is done to that body. If you believe, for the sake of argument, that when a woman is pregnant you have the sole circumstance of two living beings in the same body, still, one is thinking as well as choosing and one is not. The options you have are, do you still permit the thinking being to decide, or is the matter decided by a third party (the state) purporting to signify the nonthinking being and the society at large? Thus this reasoning may seem clear when one is speaking of the “right to abortion.”
Nothing is more overwhelming than a life without liberty. A life in which one can be enforced into parenthood is just such a life. Rape is among the most thoughtful denials of liberty, and compelling a woman to put up with a rapist’s child is an assault on her humanity. How different is it to force her to stay pregnant and turn out to be a mother just for the reason that efforts at birth control accidentally failed? From her point of view, the pregnancy is as well unsought. From the point of view of the fetus, how the pregnancy began certainly makes no difference.
If forcing a wman to carry on a pregnancy that will more or less without doubt kill her is impermissible, how different is it to force her to keep on a pregnancy that will most likely shorten her life? Or a pregnancy that will leave her life a shambles?
The majority women make use of contraception – and abortion when necessary – for the reason that they want to be good mothers to the children they already have (Petchesky ; Judd 1998). Some are simply not prepared or capable at a given moment to have children and a small but growing number, whose position deserves respect, do not desire to have children at all (Gillespie R., 1999). Concerns on the subject of women’s health, family welfare and poverty are widespread reasons for abortion, particularly among women with several children (Frejka T, Atkin LC, 1996, Casas-Becerra L. 1997, Johansson A, Nguyen Thu Nga, Tran Quang Huyx, 1998).
Basically I believe the majority of the babies that are aborted are unwanted babies. Mother of baby supposes that they would be badly mistreated and ignored. This is why abortion is acceptable to them. They think abortion is putting away the child from maltreatment.
Also there are certain definite justifications for legalizing abortion. The moral principle that underlies this is that the embryo and fetus have rights, but not the right to life in the same sense that a human being has. One widely accepted justification is the preservation of the pregnant woman’s life. Other justifications are illustrated by the British law, passed in 1967: justifications for abortion include danger to the woman’s life or health, pregnancy due to criminal assault, a threat of fetal deformity, and socioeconomic reasons. According to proposals made by the American Law Institute (1962:189-190) justifications include danger to the woman’s physical or mental health, the threat of severe fetal deformity, and pregnancy due to rape, incest, or other felonious intercourse. Several states in the United States adopted some of these legal justifications between 1967 and 1970. Consequently abortion is definitely justified on the grounds of protecting the woman’s life or health.
Furthermore, woman has the right to make her own decisions. If a woman makes a decision to have an abortion it is her right to do as she pleases with her body. The matter of whether abortion is ethically right have to be left up the sense of right and wrong of the woman whom is making the decision and not through judging eyes not going through the same circumstances (Richard J. Hardy., 1994, Page 189).
For example, a woman with a family of four who are barely surviving find out that she is pregnant. She comes to a decision to have an abortion for the reason that she can’t manage to pay for that baby. That might have saved the world of one sadder story of a mother abusing as well as neglecting her unwanted child. Every woman has the right to make their own decisions.
In the Texas law, McCorvey, Weddington, and Coffee turned out to be part of a larger historical movement and political struggle. All through the turbulent 1960s, the movement to liberalize abortion laws was growing with the supposed sexual revolution and demands for women’s rights. Thus far the legal reforms pushed by abortion rights advocates were in some respects little more than a return to the legal status of abortions a century prior. Until the mid-nineteenth century most states allowed abortions until after “quickening,” or the first movement of the fetus; even then, abortions were usually measured minor offenses.
Although, as we have seen, a fundamental right of a woman is without a doubt implicated when she makes a decision to end a pregnancy, why shouldn’t government be free to prevent abortion out of lawful concern for the harm each abortion necessarily causes? In spite of everything, the Constitution sometimes allows government to limit even the most basic liberties. Lots of have been conscripted to fight, and even die, in war. Others have been conscripted in situations significantly less cataclysmic. Police, paramedics, and firefighters, for instance, will often legally order bystanders at an emergency scene to cooperate even at the risk of their lives.
Certainly, abortion restrictions might not do much to save fetuses. Such limitations might as a substitute force desperate women into unsafe back-alley abortions, in which the unborn are not saved and in which more than a few women may die too. Or abortions may be delayed, with the result that numerous fetuses that are aborted are more developed than they would have been without abortion restrictions. Or conceivably the restrictions would have no noteworthy consequence on conduct, particularly considering the growing availability of drugs that induce early abortion without any need for resort to a clinic or hospital. With such contemporary techniques, abortion restrictions might operate mostly to deny women a symbolic affirmation of their autonomy, at the same time as leaving most women quite free to end unwanted fetal life safely.
In 1970, a pregnant unmarried woman filed a class action suit in federal district court in Texas, looking for a declaratory judgment that Texas’ criminal abortion laws were unconstitutional and an injunction against their enforcement. The Texas criminal abortion laws at that time as they had for more than a century prohibited abortion not including when procured or attempted by medical advice for the purpose of saving the life of the mother. A three-judge district court held that the abortion laws were unconstitutionally vague and overbroad, infringing the fundamental right of single women and married persons to choose whether to have children. Both the defendant as well as the plaintiff appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States. The case was argued twice before the Court (Friendly Fred, and Martha J. H. Elliott. 1984, 103).
On January 22, 1973, the Court announced its decision in Roe v. Wade, affirming by an irresistible 7-2 vote the district court’s judgment on the merits and commencing the broad doctrine of abortion privacy into American constitutional law (Adamany David., 1980., pg 45).
Justice Harry Blackmun made an effort to prove that the restrictive criminal abortion laws in effect in a majority of Texas today are of relatively recent vintage. He also reviewed recent “privacy” decisions and affirmed that the fundamental right of privacy is broad enough to include a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.” Consequently, laws restricting abortion could merely be upheld if necessary to effectuate a compelling state interest. He opined that prohibiting abortion is not essential to protect maternal health until late in pregnancy for the reason that the risk of maternal morbidity from early abortions appeared to be lower than the risks of morbidity from childbirth. The state’s interest in defending the right to life of persons did not give good reason for abortion restrictions since the term “person” was used in several provisions of the Constitution to refer to already-born individuals. The state’s interest in protecting potential life was an inadequate justification for abortion restrictions because there is a “wide divergence of thinking” among theologians, philosophers, and physicians on the subject of when life begins. In the end, the Court invented a mandatory “trimester” rule, within which it defined the limits of constitutionally allowable abortion regulation: during the first trimester of pregnancy, no state restriction of the woman’s abortion decision and its effectuation by her doctor is permissible; during the second trimester merely regulations “reasonably related to maternal health” are permissible; during the third trimester, after viability, the state could forbid abortion “except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.” (Banks, Bill, and Sue Banks., 1992, pg 76)
Inaccurate to hold responsible the practice of abortion to cover up extramarital sexual misbehavior entirely on Roe, that practice was firmly imbedded in American culture before the Texas abortion laws were invalidated. On the other hand, it is clear that Roe has done nothing to remedy the problem; to a certain extent, the practice of using abortion to cover up extramarital sexual conduct has increased dramatically in overall numbers and substantially in percentage of total abortions (Gates John B., and Charles A. Johnson, 1991, pg 83).
“….The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy. In a line of decisions, however, … the Court has recognized that a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy, does exist under the Constitution”. http://users.telerama.com/~jdehullu/abortion/absroe.htm
According to a survey, almost sixty five percent population agree that it a mother right to decide that she wants to give birth to the baby or not. The majority populations are pro-choicer. I believe that the law should be soon changing to facilitate mothers.
Also the point in all issues of rights is that, as Justice Jackson said in the case of West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette,
“The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from . . . political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections”. The right to choose is this kind of fundamental right.
Adamany David. “The Supreme Court’s Role in Critical Elections.” In Realignment in American Politics , edited by Bruce Campbell and Richard Trilling . Austin: University of Texas Press, 1980., pg 45
Banks, Bill, and Sue Banks. Ministering to Abortion’s Aftermath. Kirkwood, Mo.: Impact Books, Inc., 1992., pg 76
Cozic, Charles and Stacey Tipp, ed. Abortion: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1991, pg 97
Frejka T, Atkin LC, 1996. The role of induced abortion in the fertility transition of Latin America. In: Guzman JM, Singh S, Rodriguez G, et al., editors. The fertility transition in Latin America. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1996. p. 179-91.
Friendly Fred, and Martha J. H. Elliott. The Constitution: That Delicate Balance . New York: Random House, 1984., 103
Gates John B., and Charles A. Johnson, eds. The American Courts: A Critical Assessment. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1991., pg 83
Gillespie R., 1999. Voluntary childlessness in the UK. Reprod Health Matters, 7(13):43-53.
Petchesky RP, Judd K, 1998. Negotiating reproductive rights: women’s perspectives across countries and cultures. London: Zed Books.
Richard J. Hardy., Government in America. Copyright 1994, Page 189.