On this day every year, their are always huge marches on Washington, D.C. The reason for the marches is that today is the anniversary of the Supreme Court Decision of Roe v. Wade. Many people come to protest that decision by the court. The court case that effectively made the state’s right to regulate such a medical procedure unconstitutional. Today the focus of the blog will be on this historic event and contentious issue.
A Brief History of Roe v. Wade
Norma McCorvey (know as Jane Roe in court filings) found out she was pregnant with her third child and wanted to abort the pregnancy. Her friend convinced her that she admit that she was raped, since Texas allowed abortions in the case of rape or incest. Her plan failed when their was no police report about the alleged rape. She attempted to get an illegal abortion and found it closed by the police. She then filed a suit in U.S. District court. The district court ruled in the petitioner’s favor due to the precedent set by Griswold v. Connecticut that said the state did not have a right to stop the use of contraceptives. It reached the Supreme Court where it was argued twice.
Decision of the Supreme Court
The majority opinion of the Supreme Court had several arguments. First that the Texas law on abortion was too vague. The main arguments of the Justices spawned from the Ninth Amendment, which protects those rights not listed in that Constitution. In this case, it fell in the realm of the right of privacy in personal medical decisions. As stated in the LC-MS Commission on Theology and Church relations document Abortion in Perspective, “the Court held that abortion could not simply be prohibited, such prohibition being a violation of the woman’s constitutionally guaranteed right of personal privacy. The Court also held, however, that this right was not unqualified but was limited by other important interests of the states, if such could be shown to be pertinent here” (11).
The Supreme Court found that a two interests in which the state may have a compelling interest to justify regulations on abortion. First, the interest of the state to protect the health of the pregnant mother. Secondly an interest in protect the potential human life. In the first interest the court said that mortality rates of abortions (i.e. how many people die while performing the procedure) are less than natural child birth. So a state could only justify a regulation to protect the life of the mother, like it must be performed in a properly licensed facility. In the second interest the court found that the state has no interest in protecting the life of the unborn unless it is viable outside of the mother. The court imposed the trimester system in place to say where the state had an interest in regulating abortions; this was further modified in future decisions. Currently the court holds that the state may regulate the use of abortions to protect the life of the unborn if they can life outside of the womb, even with medical devices. As you see the decision does not protect the right to abortion on demand, but only states when the states can regulate the use of such a procedure.
My View on Abortion
Protection of Life
The main reason to be against abortion is the protection of the inalienable right to life as stated in the Declaration of Independence and other political philosophers in the period of the Enlightenment. The child has a right to life and to live. It is the job of the government to protect the life of all its citizens. These unborn babies in the U.S. are technically citizens of the individual states and the United States. The U.S. therefore has an qualified right to make and enforce laws that protect the life of this child. Even a child conceived from rape or incest deserve to live which brings me to my next point.
Here is an interesting take on this way the decision is designed. As medical technology increases, to be able to sustain life outside of the womb the states could regulate the use of abortions more. Since the state has a interest in the protection of the life of the unborn if it can exist outside the womb, with assistance, earlier and earlier in a pregnancy than abortion regulations could made illegal earlier and earlier in a pregnancy.
If a parent does not want a child their are plenty of viable alternatives other than taking the life of the unborn.; adoption being the most likely. This means in cases of rape and incest this means a mother has to live with that evil act for nine months. It is obvious that the mother may not want to be reminded of this act later in life after the child is given up for adoption. The states should write laws to protect the identity of the mother and father of those who put up their children for adoption. So they may not be found by their child, if they do not want. This will not end a child from looking and possibly finding their mother or father but it does provide them some protection. The state, working through private charity, should also help support these women in their choice to protect the life of the child conceived through criminal and evil means.
The Right to Privacy
Michael Savage said in his new book “Trickle Up Poverty,” that he would make abortion illegal “with the exception of the physical survival or the mother-to be determined by two licensed medical doctors. This should be the policy of the states. I have expressed to my wife before we got married, that if while pregnant the doctors told me I could only save my wife or my child, I would choose my wife every time. And I would probably live with the guilt of that decision the rest of my life, knowing my decision probably ended the life of my child. I am open to exceptions in conception due to rape and/or incest, but I lean more towards not allowing them in those situations due to my other arguments from above.
Rights of the Father
Their is so much talk about the rights of the mother and her privacy; what about the rights of the father? A woman who gets pregnant with a long term boyfriend, or even a one night stand can make the choice to abort the child without so much as contacting him. The child is just as much his as it is the mothers. If the child is conceived by a sexual act with the mutual consent of both partners the rights of both parents should be respected. The rights of the father should be protected as much as the mothers. Obviously the rights of the father in an illegal sex act, such as rape and/or incest would not apply in this case.
I hope you enjoyed reading. Next time (Thursday), I will have for you a breakdown and analysis of the President’s State of the Union Address, which he makes on Tuesday night. I hope to read a lot of lively discussion on this topic. Facebook friends, come and subscribe to my blog on the original site (http://ajbulava.blogspot.com). Questions? Comments? Concerns? Class dismissed