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Abortion Essay, Research Paper
Many people believe abortion is a moral issue, but
it is also a constitutional issue. It is a woman’s
right to choose what she does with her body, and it
should not be altered or influenced by anyone else.
This right is guaranteed by the ninth amendment, which
contains the right to privacy.
The ninth amendment states: ” The enumeration in the
Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be
construed to deny or disparage others retained by
the people.” This right guarantees the right to
women, if they so choose, to have an abortion, up
to the end of the first trimester.
Regardless of the fact of morals, a woman has the
right to privacy and choice to abort her fetus.
The people that hold a “pro-life” view argue that a woman
who 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 from
our understanding of living human beings. In
a notable defense of this position, philosopher
Mary Anne Warren has proposed the following criteria
1) consciousness (of objects and events external and or
internal to the being), and in particular the capacity
to feel pain.
2) reasoning (the developed capacity to solve new
and relatively complex problems)
3) self-motivated activity (activity which is relatively
independent 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
Several cases have been fought for the right to choose.
Many of these have been hard cases with very personal
feelings, but the perserverance showed through and
gives us the rights we have today. Here are some
important cases: 1965 – Griswold v. Connecticut –
upheld the right to privacy and ended the ban on birth
control. Eight years later, the Supreme Court ruled
the right to privacy included abortions. Roe v. Wade
was based upon this case. 1973 – Roe v. Wade: –
The state of Texas had outlawed abortions. The Supreme Court
declared the law unconstitutional, but refused to
order 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) ruled
that requiring consent by the husband and the consent from a parent
if a person was under 18 was unconstitutional.
This case supported a woman’s control over her own body
and reproductive system.
Justice William Brennan stated: “If the right to privacy
means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or
single, to be free from unwanted governmental intrusion
into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision to
bear or beget a child.”
Abortion is one of the most controversial issues
in the world today. Everyone has their own individual
opinion. A woman’s body is hers and hers alone.
Nobody has the right to make her do something that
she does not want to. The Supreme Court has stated
it is the women’s right to have an abortion, if she
so 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 restrict
access to abortions. (Hardy, pg. 189).
Abortion deals with one’s private life and should have
nothing to do with the government. However, abortion
should not be used as a means of birth control, but if
a fetus will be unwanted, it is better to be aborted than to
be abused or neglected.
Many people try to force their beliefs on others and judge
them for their actions. These people need
to judge themselves before they start to judge
others. The bottom line is no matter what anyone
thinks the laws speak for themselves. It is a woman’s
right to privacy to control her reproductive system
guaranteed by the constitution.
Although there are some restrictions on abortion,
due to the states’ rights, it is still ultimately
the woman’s choice. It is not a requirement for
some states to fund for abortions, therefore,
especially in these states it should be the woman’s
choice. Abortion is an issue of women, and so it
should be the woman’s right to choose. She has the
free will to consider others views and opinions such
as that of the father, but it is her ultimate decision
guaranteed by the law.
Government in America
by Richard J. Hardy
Taking Sides on Clashing Views of Controversial
by Carol Levine
The American Heritage History of the Bill of Rights
- The Ninth Amendment
by Phillip A. Klinkner
pages: 31, 56, 75-78, 80-87, 110, 116
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