B. Puritanism and religious superiority.
A. Determining religious and moral considerations.
C. DworkinÆs Definition of the ôSacred.ö
D. Cannold and Denfeld and WomenÆs Rights.
E. Religious Influence on Political and Legal Realm.
B. WomenÆs Rights and the Ninth Amendment
Abortion continues to represent one of the most controversial and divisive issues in American society. Those who are opposed to abortion often regard the issue as one of morality. Those who are in favor of abortion often defend their stance from a political and legal perspective. However, if we look back in history at American society, we see that quite often what is viewed as ômoralityö equates to the socially reinforced notions of what is or is not moral handed down and perpetuated through institutions like government, religion and the law. For example, in Puritan Massachusetts, religious leaders like Cotton Mather often couched their political and legal decision in religious or moral terms. Men like Mather who were responsible for the persecution of those suspected as witches, held the belief that religious authority overrides civil authority (i.e. morality is superior to legality). Men like Mather were men of faith who refused to tolerate any beliefs or practices in civil society that conflicted with religious authority. Such attitudes enabled men like Mather to rationalize and validate social control that included the persecution and prosecution of those who transgressed their definition of ômorality.ö In this manner, the debate over abortion continues to posit ômoralityö on one side of the debate and legality on the other side. However, without an absolute definition of what is moral and what is immoral, abortion cannot be considered immoral and even if it is such decisions should not impact laws regarding it.
According to Becker (1915), such moral justifications as espoused by social leaders like Mather stemmed from the ô...