Abortion: Legal and Ethical Perspectives

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The Supreme Court's landmark Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973 signaled the beginning of legal and ethical controversies on abortion. These debates are generally focused on philosophical and theological values, and they often refuse to take into account the physical and social impact of abortion on women. Many, if not most, people base their opinions about the morality and ethicality of abortion on personal considerations and feelings. My friends who had abortions, in my opinion, had a wide spectrum of emotions about the issue; some regretted their decision, while others felt grateful that they had an abortion. Personally, my decision to have an abortion would be based on the situation; if I were raped and made pregnant by the rapist, I would have an abortion. However, I would not have an abortion if I had an _x0091_accident_x0092_ and became pregnant with my boyfriend. I firmly don_x0092_t believe women should use abortion as birth control; however, I believe abortion is their personal choice and should be available, especially in instances such as rape. In general, I think all legal and ethical perspectives taken into consideration; abortion should remain a woman_x0092_s choice and available across the nation per Roe v. Wade. Though Roe v. Wade is going to face a challenge at some point with the expected anti-abortion legalization in the near future, everyone_x0092_s opinion should be considered.

In our country, even with Roe v. Wade, different states interpret the law differently and specify on scenarios where abortion may be permitted under the supervision of a physician. In some jurisdictions, the external environments remain essential while deciding upon whether a mother is to undergo an abortion. The research is based on an internal factor, which in this case is the mother_x0092_s opinion, her health and the provisions of the law. Fundamental rights and the need to protect life play a part while also making an important medical decision

The essential elements in any procedure are to identify the origin and factors that bring up its existence. The period between the 19th century and the earlier 20th century are necessary while discussing the matters abortion and the history behind the practice. During the early 19th century, it was upon the government to control population, and according to Reagan, different states intended to ensure certain races are populated (230). During the earlier period, states across the nation focused on reducing abortion, ensuring the act remained illegal. During the 1960_x0092_s the action remained illegal, and records indicate that more women opted for the same despite its illegality (Reagan 221). In this case, many women faced the danger of being in the hands of quacks thus posing health risks. Many women lost their lives and the ability to bear children due to the inability of the state to without question put in place measures that would ensure the practice is done in a professional manner and under specific conditions.

The illegal nature of the act during the earlier periods of the 19th century meant high levels of maternal mortality. Over 10 percent of maternal mortality in the country was due to unsafe abortions (Reagan 214). Legislation and danger of public backlash forced women during this period to seek help from unqualified personnel oblivious of the dangers. In the mid 19th century, a feminist approach took center stage (217). Activists choose to undergo an abortion as a way of solidarity and an attempt to break away from the common misconceptions. The then legislations only described the health of the mother as the only reason to why an abortion would be undertaken. The medical fraternity also was placed in limbo with no clear laws that defined when a clinician might be deemed to perform a malpractice. Legislators during the last half of the 19th century embarked on a mechanism to regulate the practice (221-25). Legal battles then guaranteed to make the practice legal across different jurisdictions.

The Supreme Court ruling of Roe V. Wade in 1973 created the foundation for future abortion laws. In Roe v. Wade, the jury ruled in a 7-2 decision on the matter at hand (Reagan, 244). The technicalities of the case were based on when life begins. The first argument was based on a conception of a person: The judges argued that life begins after birth and that a fetus lacked fundamental rights under the United States laws. In this case, the case was won because a fetus lacked the human element and the existing Constitution only recognized human rights for citizens and not potential lives. The lack of fundamental rights meant that abortion remains legal and that the physician and mother would not be held under the law for murder or clinical malpractice. The judges aimed at protecting the mother and allowing decisions to be made regardless of the social aspects.

The second argument was based on the mother's fundamental rights. The ruling argued that under the ninth and the fourteenth amendment, women were guaranteed the right to privacy (Reagan, 244-245). The provision meant that whatever choices that should be made keep in mind that the mothers have the right to privacy under the US Constitution. A new precedent was set after the ruling that the state which had no power to control abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy. In this case, the last trimester was to be regulated and banned for only when necessary to safeguard the potential life. The health of the mother would be the only scenarios where abortion was permitted. With such laws being faced out, the mothers are in trouble because there is too much talk on illegalization of abortion. Only the doctors will be given the mandate to suggest whether abortion is necessary after examining the situations.

Abortion remains a debatable issue, and since the election of Donald Trump, there are promises to make it a national issue in the near future due to the possible change in the complexion of the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, I continue to believe that with all legal and ethical perspectives already having been taken into consideration, abortion should remain a woman_x0092_s choice and available across the nation per Roe v. Wade. Roe v. Wade should not be overturned. It remains difficult to convince the anti-abortion people to consider abortion as a legal issue; most people tend to judge without analyzing scenarios and feel that abortion, regardless of the circumstances, is unethical and immoral. It is clear that irrespective of whether abortion is legal or illegal the necessity of abortions will always occur just based on human nature. Thus, it is certain that the act needs to be legalized to reduce stigmatization and deaths of mothers seeking medical assistances in terminating a pregnancy.

_x000c_Works Cited

Justin. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey 505 U.S. 833 (1992). US Supreme Court, vol. 505. October 1992. Web. 20 July 2017

McBride, Dorothy. Abortion politics: Public policy in Cross-cultural Perceptive. New York: Psychology Press, 1992. Print.

Porter, Elizabeth. Feminist Perspective on Ethics. New York: Routledge, 2014. Print.

Rafferty, Philip. What's Really Going on with Pro-Roe V. Wade Catholic Politicians? Mustang, Oklahoma: Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC, 2011. Print.

Reagan, Leslie. When Abortion Was a Crime: Women, Medicine, and Law in the United States 1867-1973. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 1997. Print.

Sherwin, Susan. (1991). _x0093_Abortion Through a Feminist Ethics Lens._x0094_ Women and Values. Ed Marilyn Pearsall. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1991, 344-354. Print.

October 13, 2022

Health Philosophy Law


Reproductive Health

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Abortion Ethics Court

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