ABORTION misc001



Abortion - Right To Choose

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 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 (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 -Volume 3). 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