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Abortion Life Or Death Essay, Research Paper
Abortion: Life or Death
Many people believe abortion is purely a moral issue, but it is also a constitutional issue. It is a woman’s right to choose what she does with her own 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. Regardless of the 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. They would have us believe that from the moment of conception, the embryo or fetus is alive and that the abortion of the embryo is murder! The “pro-choice” perspective does not view it this way. They feel the decision to abort a pregnancy is that of the mothers and the state has no right to interfere. Their main argument being that a fetus is not yet a baby. It does not fit the criteria we attain through our perception of what living human beings consist. In a notable defense of this position, philosopher Mary Anne Warren has proposed the following criteria for “person-hood”:
1) Consciousness of objects and events external and or internal to the being, and in particular the capacity to feel pain.
2) Reasoning is the developed capacity to solve new and relatively complex problems.
3) Self-motivated activity consists of 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 indefinitely many possible topics. 5) The presence of self-concepts, and self-awareness,
either individual or social, or both.
In the United States about 1.6 million pregnancies end in abortion. Women with incomes under eleven thousand are over three times more likely to abort than those with incomes above twenty-five thousand. Unmarried women are four to five times more likely to abort than married and the abortion rate has doubled for 18 and 19 year olds. Recently the U.S. rate dropped 6 percent overall but the rate of abortion among girls younger than 15 jumped 18 percent. The rate among minority teens climbed from 186 per 1,000 to 189 per 1,000.
The government telling us what to do and not to do with our bodies only causes more problems. Laws against abortion would cause more death more horror stories. Without the option of terminating an unwanted pregnancy, women would resort to drastic measures. Women found themselves getting backroom abortions which were unsanitary and done by unskilled, incompetent people. They used air from bicycle pumps, coat hangers or knitting needles, overdosed on drugs, and took poison. Many women tried to self-abort by inflicting pain on themselves: by throwing themselves down stairs, doing strenuous work or exercise, or deliberately overworking themselves to exhaustion. They paid strangers a lot of money to do the and then dispatched directly to garbage bags and rivers, toilet bowls and trash receptacles – mostly by women who have hidden their pregnancies. In the least, laws against abortion would prevent expecting mothers from getting assistance and counseling. Those unwilling parents would not learn about their other options, or have the chance to be persuaded to continue the pregnancy. They would simply resort to an illegal abortion, having no other choice.
Several cases have been fought for the rights we have under the constitution about abortion. Many of these cases have been exceedingly difficult cases with very complex moral issues, but the perseverance of these women showed through and gives us the rights we have today. Here are some important cases involving abortion rights: 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. They recognized abortion as a fundamental constitutional right and made it legal in all states. Thus, The Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional. 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. 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 his or her 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. 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 body 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 as to what she does with her baby and her body.
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