Abortion Essay

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Abortion Perhaps one of the most controversial issues debated between lawmakers and legislatures is abortion. Disputes concerning abortion began during the 1820s. By 1965, with a few exceptions, abortion had been made illegal in all states. Abortions were only permitted when the fetus was deformed, or if birth of the baby would harm the mother’s life. All of this changed however in 1973 during the landmark Supreme Court Case of Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion. The Supreme Court recognized that it is solely a mother’s choice whether to become a parent. The court also recognized that an issue as significant as child bearing warrants the highest level of constitutional protection. According to the Court, a…show more content…
State and federal bans on funding were upheld as well as provisions requiring young women to obtain the consent of or notify their parents prior to having an abortion. The unraveling of Roe began in 1989 when the Supreme Court allowed a number of restrictions on abortion in the Webster v. Reproductive Health Services case. This decision, compiled with changes in the make-up of the Supreme Court, led many to believe that the Roe decision was just a step away from being overturned. In July 1992, the court backed down from overturning Roe completely in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, but once again superimposed many restrictions. The case resulted in a divided opinion that established a new test, the “undue burden standard” for determining whether restrictions are constitutional. According to the court, the government cannot pass laws that have the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion. Most importantly, the Court reaffirmed the Roe decision. Since the 1973 decision, the passage of state laws to restrict abortion and the willingness of courts to uphold them has increased. A woman’s ability to exercise her right to choose abortion is becoming progressively more dependent on the state in which she lives. Currently, thirty-seven states, including New York, have operational laws that place restrictions on late-term

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