Policies in Relation to Abortion

4374 Words Jul 28th, 2014 18 Pages
Policies in Relation to Abortion Before and After the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Case
New Mexico State University
Jennifer Walker

Abstract
The Roe versus Wade Supreme Court Case has had a huge impact on abortion laws in the United States. Before 1973, abortions were illegal and criminal, with few exceptions. Overnight, the decision in the case legalized first trimester abortions while leaving the specifications of the other trimesters up to the states. This case has led to many debates over the value of life and when life begins whether at conception, independence from mother, or first breath. All of these can be defined by religion, law, or individual beliefs. Unfortunately, none of the policies before or after Roe versus Wade have
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Though the number of abortions has definitely increased from after the Roe versus Wade case, this is likely do to the reporting of abortions rather than the legality of the abortions. Ideological/Value Perspective Both the value one places on life and the question of when life begins plays a huge role in the debate over abortion. Though people who are not part of a religion or are not spiritual have their own beliefs, much of the debate does come from a religious perspective. So when does human life begin? Some believe it is the moment of conception, others at the time when the baby can live independently from the mother, and still others believe it is when the baby takes his/her first breath. This is important because depending on when a person believes a life is valuable or that a fetus becomes a person, may make an impact on whether or not an individual is for or against abortion. As stated earlier, religion plays a large role in a person’s beliefs as well. According to Stephens, Jordens, Kerridge, and Ankeny (2010), the Catholic and Lutheran religions believe life begins at conception and that this life has to right to live. Some Catholics even believe abortion is homicide. For the Jewish faith, conception is the beginning of life; however, the mother’s already-existing life is more important than the fetus. If the mother’s life is at risk, an abortion may be an option. In Islam, the
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