Abortion: One Of The Most Controversial Topics Today Essay

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Abortion: One of the Most Controversial Topics Today
In the early American Colonies, English Common Law was adopted by the United States, which declared abortion forbidden. The procedure was ruled a misdemeanor if performed before quickening, which meant “feeling life,” and a felony if performed after quickening. In the early 1800s, it was discovered that life begins at conception and not when the mother “feels life.” Eighty-five percent of the states had laws that made all abortions a felony. Between the 1800s and today, many arguments have taken place regarding when life begins for a fetus and to what extent the mother has a right to terminate her pregnancy (Fast Facts: History of the U.S. Abortion Laws, 2003). There have been numerous
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Wade decision is in relation to when life actually begins. The court had ruled “when those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary…is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.” Connell feels that we are left with a completely circular argument, whereas the Court has not officially stated when life begins. Still, there are people who honestly disagree about the question of when life begins. If no one actually knows when life begins, the courts can not form a basis for saying the legislature’s answer is wrong (McConnell, 1998).
     In 1976, the case of Planned Parenthood v. Danforth declared that spousal and parental consent is unconstitutional (Fast Facts: History of the U.S. Abortion Laws, 2003). On the other hand, in 1992 during the case of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey , the court ruled that Pennsylvania could require a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion is performed, a woman must give her informed consent to the abortion, and a parent or guardian must be notified before an abortion on a woman who has not reached the age of 18. The court also struck down Pennsylvania law that required spousal notification and declared it unconstitutional.
     The case of Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989) declared Missouri law, written in
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