Evian Lunceford Gov. Research paper Period 4 4/22/2013 The Fight to Control their Own Bodies For many years abortion has been a social, and political debate in the U. S. Abortion continues to create controversy between the states, and a number of human rights groups. This controversy has caused each state to develop their own set of laws regarding the issue, and some have also passed abortion bans throughout the years. By leaving such a big decision up to individual states, women’s fundamental freedoms are denied to them.
Denying women the right to control their own bodies is not only unconstitutional, but it also violates the ninth, and fourteenth amendment. Rather than continuing to allow state legislators to have the power to make such decisions, abortion should continue to be legalized on a federal level, and nothing less. Abortion has been a source of controversy throughout the history of mankind. Methods of abortion have been recorded in early civilizations dating all the way back to the ancient Egyptians. Around the time that the constitution was created, the termination of pregnancy was not only legal in the U. S. ut it was openly advertised, and regularly performed. Laws against abortion did not arrive until the mid-1800s. Some of the first abortion laws made in 1820, were created to forbid the procedure after the fourth month of pregnancy. By 1900, doctors and legislators outlawed most abortions in the U. S. Because of these laws, “back alley abortions”, became more frequent, although extremely dangerous. From the 1880s to 1973, the prohibition of legal abortion came under the same Comstock laws that prohibited the circulation of birth Lunceford 1 control information and services. Which were found to be a violation of women’s fundamental freedoms.
Rather than the physicians’ usual argument on the medical dangers of abortion, feminists switched the debate to the discussion of a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body. The most progress made in the abortion movement, was the Supreme Court decision in the Roe vs. Wade case. The ruling of the Roe vs. Wade case proved that the Texas law at the time making abortion illegal, was unconstitutional, and it also violated privacy rights. The controversy caused by abortion argues whether or not, it is unconstitutional to deny women the right to choose to end her pregnancy.
Just as they fought for their right to vote, be in the military, and work certain jobs, women have spent centuries fighting for their right to control their own bodies. In the 1973 Roe v. Wade case, the abortion debate was changed forever when a Texas law that criminalized abortion except to save a mother’s life, was overturned. The case put individual rights against the states’ interest in regulating the life of the fetus. The court decided that the law violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth amendment and the women’s right of privacy maintained by the ninth amendment.
The court also ruled that a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy is included in personal autonomy and reproductive rights. Therefore, it was determined that the states’ concern for the fetus was only considered at viability, when the fetus could survive independently from its mother. Roe never completely permitted abortion but balanced states’ interest in the life of the fetus with women’s privacy rights. The Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade made it possible for women to get safe, legal abortions from well-trained medical professionals, which led to a large decrease is pregnancy related injuries and deaths.
Senior circuit judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, John T. Noonan wrote the Roe’s original ruling: “On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court of the United Lunceford 2 States deciding Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton announced that a new personal liberty existed in the constitution- the liberty of a woman to procure the termination of her pregnancy at any time in its course…” 8 After the ruling of this case, it became federal law that women reserve the rights to their own bodies, including the right to have an abortion. Despite the unchanged federal abortion laws since the Roe v.
Wade case, state governments continue to place restrictions, and bans on abortion throughout the states. Not only are they placing restrictions on the women seeking abortions, but they are also discovering ways to shut down the medical institutions that provide them. In recent years, the main threats to abortion providers have come from regulations passed in the statehouses across the U. S. Some of the regulations require that abortion providers be regulated like hospitals than doctor’s offices, which will cause most of them to go out of business.
Allowing individual states to make such powerful decisions over abortion, does not serve the common good of the people, and especially not that of the women. History has proven that no matter how many states deny women their right to abortion, the women will continue having them, whether it means a dangerous “back alley abortion”, or traveling to another state to have the procedure done. Having anti-abortion laws and bans only satisfy those with religious and political views opposing abortion.
Women having unwanted children with no choice of abortion also increases the amount of children left homeless, in foster care, and even increases infant death. Abortions effect only the women having them, and nobody else. Therefore, it is their fundamental right to their own body, and the privacy to what they do with it. Pro-choice organizations across the U. S. are doing their part to protect women’s right to abortion. Organizations like NARAL, Choice USA, Planned Parenthood, and many others Lunceford 3 obby congress, hold protests, reach out to women on the internet, and make sure that women’s best interest is heard by lawmakers. There are also anti-choice organizations however, that do their best to make sure that women are denied their right to abortion. Since individual states hold the power to decide what laws to make for or against abortion, different state officials can make these laws depending on their personal view on the matter. However, it is unconstitutional for politicians, and government officials to make laws that deny women their fundamental rights based on their own beliefs.
Over the years, citizens and politicians have interpreted the constitutionality of abortion in many different ways. Those that are against it, argue that it is immoral, and unconstitutional due to the fact that it is murder, however scientists say that a fetus isn’t even viable until six months in the womb. Although those reasons were the cause for states placing bans on abortion, it is unconstitutional for them to do so. Women reserve the right to privacy protected by the ninth amendment, and it is also their fundamental right to control their own bodies, which includes having an abortion.
Rather than allowing the individual states to have the power to decide whether or not abortion should be legal, the federal government’s decision of legalizing abortion should hold precedence over the states. State legislators making these important decisions about what women have a right to do, and not to do with their bodies is not only unjust, but it is also unconstitutional. Allowing the federal decision of legalizing abortion, will not only decrease the amount of unwanted children in foster care, but women will not be denied their unalienable rights to control their own bodies.