Abortion - Right To Choose Term Paper

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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 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.

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References

Government in America. by Richard J. Hardy. copyright 1994. page 189.

Taking Sides on Clashing Views of Controversial Bioethical Issues. by

Carol Levine. Volume 3. copyright 1991. pages: 4-8.

The American Heritage History of the Bill of Rights - The Ninth

Amendment. by Phillip A. Klinkner. copyright 1991. pages: 31, 56,

75-78, 80-87, 110, 116.

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