History Of Abortion In The Court Essay

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Abortion. The word alone provokes strong emotion in both women and men alike. Roe v. Wade was decided twenty five years ago, but still the fight is not over. Instead, there are mass rallies, bombings of abortion clinics, murders of doctors and workers at such clinics, intimidation, arrest, political lobbying, and numerous Supreme Court cases. What is it that divides families, and keeps old friends from speaking to one another on the topic?

Why are opinions so polarized and why are minds so closed? As the great philosopher Plato said, "A perfectly simple principle can never be applied to a state of things which is the reverse of simple". The topic of abortion is anything but simple, and our laws governing the matter are ever changing to
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113 (1973), Justice Blackmun said the Court found no agreement on when human life begins. And instead of extending it back to the period of fertilization, the Court tended to fix its origin somewhere in the period of "quickening", when the fetus begins to move in the uterus, which might be anywhere from forty to eighty days.

The Court's decision was grounded in the Ninth Amendment by saying where uncertainty exist, the state has no right to make laws pretending to be certain. However, he rejected the view that the state has no interest in a woman's decision whether or not to have an abortion. He expressed that the state "does have an important and legitimate interest in protecting and preserving the health of the pregnant woman" and it has "still another important and legitimate interest in protecting the potentiality of human life. Blackmun asserted that the state's interest increases as the pregnancy progresses.

During the first three months, the state has no compelling interest. However, the state may enact abortion regulations affecting the second three months of the pregnancy, but only to protect the health of the pregnant woman. Only with regards to the last trimester man the state enact regulations to protect "potential life", unless the pregnant mother's health is in danger.Over the past twenty five years since the Roe decision, the Court has clearly chipped away at Justice Blackmun's open framework of the Roe case. Maher v. Roe 432 U.S.

464 (1977),…

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