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Pros and Cons of Abortion

In 1966, abortion was a crime in virtually every state in the union. In 1972, it was still a crime in a majority of states. Then, on January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in the famous Roe v. Wade decision. Today, abortion is the most frequently performed legal operation in the United States. The simplistic slogans and placards of the "Right to life" and "Pro-choice" factions do not even begin to deal with the complexity of the moral issues involved in abortion. In this paper, we will attempt to give serious consideration to the arguments for and against the legal practice of abortion under various circumstances.

However, before we examine the rationale behind and consequences of the two sides, it is important for us to look at exactly what the Supreme Court said in the Roe v. Wade decision. The court ruled that a woman's right to privacy, as a part of the Fourteenth Amendment, extended to her right to decide whether or not to have an abortion: this ruling made all of the state laws prohibiting abortion unconstitutional. However, the court did not endorse "abortion on demand" as some say. It specified different restrictions as permissible at different times during the course of a pregnancy.

In the first trimester (generally agreed to be the first 13 weeks of gestation), the states are barred from making regulations about abortions except to mandate that they be performed by a licensed physician. In the second trimester, a state may regulate abortions "in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health." For instance, a state may require that the abortion be performed in a hospital. However, because of the 1980 Hyde Amendment prohibiting the use of federal funds for abortion except to save the mother's life, this sort of regulation can amount to a ban if the hospital uses any federal funds. At the point of viability when the fetus can survive independent of the mother, about 24 weeks, a sta...

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Pros and Cons of Abortion. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:56, December 07, 2021, from