Roe v. Wade — Supreme Court Decisions on Abortion

Supreme Court, Abortion, Precedent, Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, ViabilityIn 1973, the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States. This decision, with it’s companion case Doe v. Bolton, effectively struck down abortion laws in all 50 states making abortion on demand legal during all 9 months of pregnancy for virtually any reason.

Roe v. Wade is perhaps one of the most infamous court cases in American history.

Because of this sharp change in the legal status of abortion, the Roe v. Wade decision created a backlash and led the pro-life movement to focus it’s efforts on influencing appointments to the Supreme Court for many years.

The effects of Roe and Doe, while still felt today, have been mitigated and modified by the 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Roe v. Wade gets all the attention, but PP v. Casey really sets the standards for abortion laws today.

Summary of Roe v. Wade

roe v wade abortion decisionIn this case, Jane Roe (her actual name is Norma McCorvey), had wanted an abortion, but was not legally allowed to receive one in her home state of Texas [1].

Roe first attempted to lie and claim she was raped so an exception could be made, but was unsuccessful. She also tried to obtain an abortion illegally, but was unable to do that either [2].

This case declared that placing restrictions on abortion goes against the 9th and 14th amendments and is therefore unconstitutional [3].

The end result of this court case was that the abortion was declared a fundamental right.

While it technically did allow for restrictions on abortion once the fetus becomes viable, this generally does not happen. This is largely because of the judgment in its companion case.

Doe v. Bolton took things a bit further and filled in more details. In Doe, a woman from Georgia woman was denied an abortion because her life was not at risk, and she was not raped [4].

The decision in this case was that it should not solely be up to the clinician to decide if an abortion is justifiable. It was written that reasons for abortion can be related to a variety of factors:

– Physical
– Emotional
– Psychological
– Familial
– The Age of the Woman

As a result of Doe v. Bolton, abortions are now legal throughout all 9 months of the pregnancy, for virtually any reason.

While many people have heard of Roe v. Wade before, many people may be surprised to learn the extent to which it and Doe made abortion so easily available.

Roe v. Wade Criticism

Roe was not only controversial because of it’s effects on abortion, but it also has come under fire by pro-choice legal scholars due to it’s poor legal reasoning. It is seen as an overreach by many on both sides.

In addition to criticism from pro-life and pro-choice scholars, Roe v. Wade has garnered criticism from Supreme Court Justices as well:

“Roe v. Wade … ventured too far in the change it ordered and presented an incomplete justification for its action.”– Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment” in Roe v. Wade. – Justice Byron White

“This Court’s abortion decisions have … worked a major distortion in the Court’s constitutional jurisprudence …” – Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

Despite being extremely pro-choice, Justice Ginsburg has criticized Roe on multiple occasions.

Who is Jane Roe?

The woman used by abortion advocates to get this case to the Supreme Court never actually had an abortion. Her name is Norma McCorvey and she eventually became pro-life after years of working in the abortion industry. The fact that the poster-child for the legalization of abortion became pro-life has been largely ignored.

What if Roe is Overturned?

It takes a long time for the Supreme Court to overturn its mistakes. It took nearly 60 years to overturn racial segregation upheld by Plessy v. Ferguson, for example.

If Roe v Wade is overturned, the most likely outcome is that the states have to decide the legal status individually.

However, it could happen that the court finds that legal abortion itself violates the constitution and effectively ban it everywhere. Most scholars say that this is unlikely.

Regardless of what happens, a true pro-lifer will continue to do the same things because the law will not entirely end abortion and women will continue to be in need of compassion and help.

Other Supreme Court Cases on Abortion

Doe v. Bolton

Planned Parenthood v. Casey

Gonzales v. Carhart

 

 

 

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References

[1] McCorvey, Norma. (1997). Won by Love. Thomas Nelson, Inc. Publishers, 1997, 241.

[2] Ibid

[3] U.S. Supreme Court. (1973). “Roe v. Wade (No. 70-18) .” Cornell University Law School. U.S. Supreme Court, 22 Jan 1973. Web. 26 Jun 2011. 

[4] U.S. Supreme Court. (1973). “Doe v. Bolton (No. 70-40).” Cornell University Law School. U.S. Supreme Court, 22 Jan 1973. Web. 26 Jun 2011. 

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Is Abortion Wrong and Why?

Early, Abortion, Procedure, Pill, Risk

The overwhelming majority of abortions are committed early during a pregnancy. Approximately 89% of abortions take place during the first trimester [1].

Additionally, more than half of women who have abortions say that they would have preferred having their abortion earlier in their pregnancy [2].

Why is this?

There are many possible reasons.

First and foremost, early term abortions are sometimes considered the easiest. In the early stages, women can often take an abortion medication through the ninth week of pregnancy and abort in the privacy of their own homes.

Many women also want to hide the fact that they are pregnant and avoid the stigma that might be attached to being young or unmarried.

However, does this mean that abortion is more acceptable at this stage?

There is a very clear consensus within the medical community that human life begins at conception [3]. Beyond this point, developmental changes certainly take place, but throughout each stage the developing preborn is a human life.

One reason why some women feel more comfortable aborting earlier on is because changes in the baby become more visible as time goes on. Approaching the second trimester, the major organs and heartbeat become visible via ultrasound. At this time, a baby simply begins to appear more like what it will look like at the time of birth.

Additionally, Planned Parenthood claims that the risks of abortion are not as great earlier on in the pregnancy [4]. They report that the price increases the longer that you wait and the more invasive the procedure may be. In a few instances, babies are even carried to term and aborted after they are partially delivered (partial birth abortion).

However, one must always be a bit wary of seemingly too good to be true offers in life, especially ones that are made by an organization that is trying to sell you their service.

The unfortunate truth is that abortion carries risk at every stage of pregnancy, and every abortion claims an innocent life.

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References

[1] Planned Parenthood. (2010). “Abortion After the First Trimester in the United States.” Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Sep 2010. Web. 12 Jun 2011. 

[2] Guttmacher Institute. (2011). “Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States .”Guttmacher Institute, May 2011. Web. 12 Jun 2011. 

[3] Report, Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, 97th Congress, 1st Session 1981, 7.

[4] Planned Parenthood 2010

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Abortion in Illinois: A Battle Looms Ahead

Abortion, Illinois, Pro-Choice, Pro-Life, Planned Parenthood

That being said, Illinois also remains very close to the national average in terms of abortion rates. In 2008, the abortion rate in the U.S. was approximately 19% [1] In Illinois, the abortion rate was 20% [2].

As of 2008, there were 37 abortion providers in Illinois [3]. In this same year, there were an estimated 54,920 abortions within the state, this comprises about 4.5% of abortions nationwide [4].

One reason why abortions are so common in Illinois is because of the lack of laws for parental consent. According to the Planned Parenthood website, Illinois is one of the several states that does not require any parental notification in any circumstance [5].

In fact, Illinois does not have waiting periods or limits on publicly funded abortions either [6].

In light of this news, it might be easy to get depressed. However, this also means that the unborn are that much more in need of our help.

Still, pro-lifers in Illinois have a lot to be grateful for. Groups such as Illinois Right to Life, the Pro-Life Action League, Students for Life of Illinois, and many others have all done amazing work within the state, in defense of human life.

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References

[1] Guttmacher Institute. (2011). “State Facts About Abortion: Illinois.” Guttmacher Institute, 2011. Web. 17 Jun 2011.

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

Other References
Whitted, Cleary and Takiff. (2011). “Illinois Law on Abortions.” Whitted, Cleary, and Takiff , 2011. Web. 17 Jun 2011.
Americans United for Life. (2009). “Illinois.” Americans United for Life. N.p., 2009. Web. 17 Jun 2011.
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New York City: Abortion Capitol of America

Abortion, New York City, NYC, Abortion Rate, African-American, Black, Pro-Life, Pro-Choice

With its everyday hustle and bustle, New York City is one of the most populated cities in the United States.

New York City also has the highest rates of abortion compared to the rest of the United States.

Nearly forty percent of all pregnancies in the city end in abortion. This is about twice the national average [1].

The statistic is even higher for African Americans–nearly sixty percent of black pregnancies end in abortion. [2]

In many ways, New York City acts as a model and representation to the rest of the society about how America sees new life.

Despite the fact that New York City is full of some of the most wealthy people in the world, they have the highest levels of abortion.

Although some abortions result from health problems or other reasons, the vast majority, at least over 95%, occur because they are simply inconvenient [3].

At the very least, we are sending the message to the world that we are self-centered and are primarily just concerned with our own well-being.

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References

[1] Vitello, Paul. (2011). “Religious Leaders Call for New Efforts to Lower the City’s ‘Chilling’ Abortion Rate.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Finer, Lawrence B., Frohwirth, Lori F., Dauphinee, Lindsay A., Singh, Susheela, and Moore,
Anne. (2005). “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative
Perspectives.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 37.3 (2005): 110-118.
Print.

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Restoring the American Dream: Reducing Unplanned Pregnancies and Abortion

Pro-Choice, Reducing, Unplanned Pregnancies, Abortion, Common, Pro-Life, Safe, Legal, Rare

As of today, about half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned [1]. Nearly a quarter of all pregnancies in the U.S. end in abortion [2].

Over the past nearly forty years, having an abortion has become more and more common. It is not simply a last resort for women who might be caught in a desperate situation. Instead, many women turn to abortion when they find the pregnancy inconvenient. This category includes a large number of teens.

Abortion has become an epidemic that affects the lives of countless women (and men, too). Too many women see abortion as an easy way out of a pregnancy. But it is not easy. Two lives are harmed by an abortion—the life of the child, and the health, wellness, and future fertility of the mother.

At this rate, at least half of American women will have an unintended pregnancy, and one third will have an abortion, by age 45 [3].

Although pro-choice supporters such as Former President Bill Clinton have claimed they want abortions to be safe, legal, and rare, it is clear that abortions are definitely not safe and anything but rare.

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References

[1] Guttmacher Institute. (2011). “Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States .”Guttmacher Institute, May 2011. Web. 12 Jun 2011.

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid
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Over 50 Million Abortions Since 1973

Abortion, Million, 50, Since 1973, Since Roe, Pro-Choice, Pro-LifeAbortion has been an issue of debate for a very long time. Since 1973, abortion has been legal in the U.S. because of the Roe v. Wade supreme court decision.

However, while people go on and on about whether it should be permissible, it has resulted in the death of over 50 million innocent lives [1], and by some estimates the number now exceeds 53 million.

While there is discussion on this issue from time to time, the fact that it has been allowed to become so common is evidence that there are not nearly enough people take a strong, active stand in defense of the unborn.

Many people are aware of the facts regarding abortion and know it to be wrong, yet take no real action to defend the lives of the preborn publicly.

Instead of abortion being rare, these numbers show that it has become incredibly common.

Many lives have been lost, and our society is no better for it.

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References

[1] Jones, Rachel K. and Koolstra, Kathryn. (2010). “Abortion Incidence and Access to Services In the United States, 2008.” http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/4304111.pdf

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Abortion, Free Choice and Coercion

Women, Reproductive Rights, Pressure, Abortion, Pregnancy

As of today, nearly 1 in 4 pregnancies in America end in abortion [1].

Is this evidence of a triumph for women’s rights? A sign that women are now empowered with convenient access to abortion?

A common pro-choice refrain is that abortion is a ‘free choice’ and it should not be interfered with.

While there are some who believe this, the follow-up studies of women who have had abortions reveal a far different situation.

As has been mentioned elsewhere, studies have shown that almost 2/3 of women who undergo abortions report having felt coerced into the decision [2]. Also, approximately 84% report not even being given enough information to make an informed decision [3]. Doesn’t sound like a very free choice…

Along with all of the medical risks that accompany abortion, these statistics actually suggest that the rise of the abortion industry has dealt a serious blow to women gaining true freedom and independence.

However, you can help to change this.

By speaking up when you see a woman being coerced into abortion and better informing women about the risks of abortion and the full range of options available for them, you can help provide these women with the empowerment they deserve.

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References

[1] Guttmacher Institute. (2011). “Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States .”Guttmacher Institute, May 2011. Web. 12 Jun 2011. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html

[2] Rue, Vincent., Coleman, Priscilla K., Rue, James J., and Reardon, David C. (2004). “Induced Abortion and Traumatic Stress: A Preliminary Comparison of American and Russian Women.” Medical Science Monitor. 10.10 (2004): SR5-16. Print. http://www.artsenverbond.nl/abortion.pdf

[3] Ibid

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Mahatma Gandhi’s Views On Abortion

Mahatma, Gandhi, Abortion, Women, Pregnant, Pro-Life, Pro-Choice

Known by many as one of the most peaceful people to have ever lived, Mahatma Gandhi was arguably one of the greatest leaders of all time.

As important as his goals were, he always remained dedicated (above all) to using non-violent means. His peaceful approach is looked upon fondly by pro-lifers everywhere because the pro-life movement is a non-violent movement.

Ghandi once said,

“You must make the injustice visible and be prepared to die like a soldier to do so.”

Gandhi encouraged all to take a stance against grave injustices that others may try to keep hidden. Sound familiar?

Pro-lifers will resonate with that quotation because abortion is so rarely talked about without euphemisms. Abortion is one such injustice that Gandhi felt very strongly about.

In fact, Gandhi is quoted as saying:

“It seems to me as clear as daylight that abortion would be a crime.”

While the abortion industry has put a great deal of effort into portraying pro-life advocates as being violent and hateful, the vast majority of pro-lifers are most interested in showing genuine love and compassion.

Similar to Gandhi, each of us are called to make the injustice of abortion visible in a non-violent way. We must be prepared to put our life on the line for our brothers and sisters in the womb, and tirelessly defend their rights to life – in the most peaceful way possible.

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“Safe, Legal, and Rare” – Nothing but Hot Air

Planned Parenthood, Abortion, Pregnancy, Pro-Choice, Safe, Legal, Rare

One of the common phrases used by pro-choice advocates is that abortions should be “safe, legal, and rare.”

At first glance, it appears that this is a great position to have – recognizing that abortion is not desirable, but leaving flexibility in place for exceptions when extreme circumstances arise. Adopting this position can make a person feel so nice and moderate, right?

In this article, let’s take a brief look at how successful we have been in making abortion rare.

It does not take very much research to discover that the true philosophy of abortion providers) is anything but the one above.

Instead of trying to make abortion rare, it is often given a special emphasis because it is one of the industry’s most profitable services.

This last point can be seen in the personal testimonies of former abortion clinic workers, but it can also be seen in the number of abortions. For example, there are now approximately 1.3 million abortions in the United States each year [1]. Also, it is estimated that 43% of all women will have at least 1 abortion before they are 45 years old [2].

What these numbers tell us is that there is a clear disconnect between the arguments used to justify legalized abortion and what continues to happen in the real world.

As has been mentioned, this phrase implies that being pro-choice is not extreme.

Rather, it suggests that legal abortion merely ensures women are able to have access to a safe abortion if they find themselves in very difficult circumstances.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how safe abortions actually are.

First it should be mentioned that a fair number of studies have been conducted regarding the effects of abortion. Because of this, there is much that we can say with certainty.

Some of the most dangerous effects include a much higher risk of breast cancer [3], a higher risk for anxiety disorders [4], and an increased risk for developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [5].

Aside from these, however, there are also harmful consequences that appear much sooner. For example, it is estimated that over 140,000 women a year have immediate, medical complications from abortion [6].

Women facing unplanned pregnancies do indeed need our help. But if abortion is the best pro-choice advocates can come up with, I think we should pass.

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References

[1] Henkshaw, Stanley K. (1998). “Unintended Pregnancy in the United States.” Guttmacher Institute, Jan/Feb 1998. Web. 15 Jun 2011. https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3002498.html

[2] Guttmacher Institute. (2011). “Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States .”Guttmacher Institute, May 2011. Web. 12 Jun 2011. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html

[3] Coalition on Abortion Breast Cancer. (2007). “The ABC Link.” Coalition on Abortion Breast Cancer, 30 May 2007. Web. 17 Jun 2011. http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/The_Link.htm

[4] Cougle, Jesse R., Reardon, David C., Coleman, Priscilla K. (2005). “Generalized Anxiety Following Unintended Pregnancies Resolved Through Childbirth and Abortion: A Cohort Study of the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth,” Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 2005, 19:137-142.

[5] VM Rue et. al. (2004). “Induced abortion and traumatic stress: A preliminary comparison of American and Russian women,” Medical Science Monitor 10(10): SR5-16 (2004)
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15448616

[6] The deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research. (2007). “Research on Post-Abortion Complications.” The deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research, 10 Jul 2007. Web. 15 Jun 2011. www.deveber.org/text/chapters/Chap1.pdf

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How Can Someone Be Both Pro-Life and Pro-War?

Pro-Life, Pro-War, Hypocrite, Abortion, Lives, Deaths, Casualties

The short answer is: You can’t be both pro-life and pro-war.

Those who say they are pro-life often hold various positions on other issues and this leads some people question how a person can be both pro-life and pro-war.

While this question may initially seem fair, it is in fact based on a false premise.

In reality, one would be very hard pressed to really find anyone in favor of war itself. They may exist, but certainly there are very few people who are actually ‘pro-war.’ In fact, many of those who are pro-life are especially loving of peace.

Before going forward, let’s be clear: the pro-life position is incompatible with being pro-war.

However, in some ways, war and abortion are very different things. Abortion should be opposed in all circumstances. On the other hand, people make arguments for supporting war in very limited circumstances. Sill, war should be opposed by those who support human life and dignity in nearly all circumstances.

It must be noted that there are some circumstances, such as following an unprovoked attacked, when it may be justifiable to take military action to preserve the innocent lives of citizens. In other words, a defensive war could be justified by an honest pro-lifer.

While no one hopes that they will ever be in the situation in which they would have to use violence, there are some situations in which it might be the only option as a means of self-defense.

The same is not true for abortion – unlike adult aggressors, the preborn child rarely ever presents immediate danger to the life of the mother in modern times. Furthermore, the unborn child is never an aggressor towards the mother from whom she must defend herself.

This discussion should not be construed as to support war or the effects of war.  War is very detrimental to a society and to human life. It should be the last resort and should only be pursued under limited circumstances.

While abortion and war are different, they are also similar in the fact that they lead to a loss of life.

The death tolls in some of America’s well-known wars were as follows…

The Revolutionary War – the U.S. military saw 4,435 deaths.

The Civil War – the U.S. military saw 623,026 deaths

World War One – the U.S. military saw 116,708 deaths

World War Two – the U.S. military saw 407,316 deaths [1]

So, in the history of the United States, there have been approximately 1.2 million American deaths as a result of war.

This is approximately the same number of deaths as is seen every single year, in America alone, as a result of legalized abortion.

The unfortunate truth is that no war is as great a destroyer of life as the war against the unborn. The death toll for this war now totals nearly 53 million since abortion was made legal in 1973.

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References

[1] BrothersWar. (2011). “Total Military Deaths for American Wars.” http://www.brotherswar.com/Perspective-9.htm

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