“Roe v. Wade (1973)
The Supreme Court case that held that the Constitution protected a woman’s right to an abortion prior to the viability of the fetus.
The case involved a Texas statute that prohibited abortion except when necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman. The Supreme Court, in a decision written by Justice Blackmun, recognized a privacy interest in abortions. In doing so, the court applied the right to privacy established in Griswold v Connecticut (1965). At stake in this matter was the fundamental right of a woman to decide whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. The underlying values of this right included decisional autonomy and physical consequences (i.e., the interest in bodily integrity).
Because there was a fundamental right involved, the court applied the strict scrutiny test.
The Court divided the pregnancy period into three trimesters. During the first trimester, the decision to terminate the pregnancy was solely at the discretion of the woman. After the first trimester, the state could “regulate procedure.” During the second trimester, the state could regulate (but not outlaw) abortions in the interests of the mother’s health. After the second trimester, the fetus became viable, and the state could regulate or outlaw abortions in the interest of the potential life except when necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.
Justice White and Justice Rehnquist’s separate dissents emphasized that the people and the legislatures, not the Court, should weigh this matter. Justice White argued, “Its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court….” Justice Rehnquist believed that the majority had misconstrued “privacy” and argued that “[t]he Court’s sweeping invalidation of any restrictions on abortion during the first trimester is impossible to justify under the standard….” (Cornell Law School, Legal Information Institute, Cornell University).
I am not an attorney nor practice law of any kind, just a writer with thoughts and ideas. The above is a description, to a degree, of Roe v. Wade. Abortion is a divisively hot topic among the citizens of our country, and one is often confronted for taking one side or the other in a discussion. So be it.
The supporters of abortion often take the position that if you are not a woman you have no idea of what you are talking about, nor does your position, opinion, or decision count. I view that as a strawman argument to deflect from the varied levels of facts that surround this issue.
On the other hand, prolife advocates take the position that all life is precious, meant to be preserved, and sacred under all circumstances. They also deflect, not because they offer a strawman argument or position, but refuse to recognize there maybe circumstances when an abortion is necessary to preserve life. Which life is always in question.
I believe abortion is fundamentally wrong when used as a birth control method. My personal view is it is murder. The mental anguish the woman is left with after aborting an innocent life must be a heavy burden to carry. Unless you are devoid of basic human emotions, and most of us are not. Women and men that place themselves in that position and abort or agree to go along with abortion may carry emotional scars that confound them for the rest of their lives. Those decisions are made from a convenience to them. Their careers, financial status, or family issues drive them to abortion. The last one, if at all, that is considered is the innocent child in the womb. Completely defenseless, the child dies at the hands of a selfish and narcissistic person or persons.
If this is not complexed enough, what does one do if rape is an issue of the pregnancy? Rape is the forcible sexual injury caused by a person upon another person, typically, man on a woman, to force sexual intercourse. The result is in some cases pregnancy. Now what? This is where I depart from prolife advocates, at least those that refuse to allow a remedy for this type of pregnancy. Each life is an example according to Christian beliefs. An example can be a good one or a bad one. The complexities of a decision under these circumstances can be overwhelming. All of us are free thinking human beings and all of us must make decisions that can be crushing. Abort or not? This is a decision that needs to be made between a doctor and the woman. The State should not be involved, except to the extent, the service offered is free and not a financial burden on the victim of the crime. In this instance I would suggest the Plan B pill.
This would also apply to cases of incest. I suggest that the same dynamics are in play as in rape.
Removing Roe v. Wade from the federal side of the docket back into each individual State was and is a smart move. Allowing the citizens to express their views, likes, dislikes, and how a particular State handles such a complicated issue is of more value than the federal one size fits all approach. I also feel very strongly that the father in these instances described initially, as a birth control method, bears equal responsibility. Therefore, he should be part of the decision-making process. Perhaps men can be required to sign a release or acknowledge responsibility in such events. Men cannot escape the burden of such a decision. Aside from each State’s legislator getting involved to pass an appropriate law according to its citizens, politicians should stay out of the argument, decision, and not politicize the issue to be used in running for office. Just stay the hell out of it.
As far as the discussion of “rights for women”, that is a strawman argument. All women have a right to decide, a good or bad decision. No one is stopping them. Throwing out the argument they can not make such a decision diminishes the issue and makes it volatile when this argument does not hold water. Women, as well as men are Constitutionally allowed to make smart decisions and stupid ones. We all live with the decisions we make.
“Roe v. Wade (1973)