Term Paper: Should Abortion Be Encouraged

Pages: 3 (919 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Abortion  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … Autonomous Reproductive Rights

Argument Outline

Abortion should be encouraged as an autonomous right of the individual but its use as a callous method of birth control should be discouraged in favor of better alternatives.

Reproductive rights are legally protected by constitutional principles.

Supreme Court determined that abortion is not a matter of state law and that anti-abortion laws violate fundamental rights and privacies presumed under the U.S. Constitution

That means women have a constitutional right to terminate pregnancy if they wish without interference from the government.

Therefore, nobody may legally try to interfere with or prevent an adult woman from seeking an abortion if she wants to terminate a pregnancy.

According to the Supreme Court, state laws may only restrict abortions for specific reasons and only during the last two trimesters of pregnancy.

State laws may regulate abortion during the second trimester only as necessary to ensure maternal health.

2. State laws may only regulate more generally or prohibit abortion during the third trimester. Still, they may not interfere if abortion is necessary to protect the health of the mother.

II. The principal objections to abortion are seriously flawed.

A. The religious objection to abortion is absolutely impermissible as a basis for U.S. law.

B. The ethical objection to early-term abortion is logically invalid.

III. Support for Reproductive Rights does not negate certain ethical obligations.

A. There is an ethical obligation not to inflict pain on any fetus capable of feeling pain.

B. There is an ethical obligation to reserve abortion as a last resort and not as a callous form of birth control instead of more socially (and medically) responsible forms of birth control.

Since 1973, abortion has been legal throughout the United States (Dershowitz, 2002). According to the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, state laws could no longer prohibit abortion. The Court determined that those constitutional protections and rights that are expressly included in the Bill of Rights also give rise to certain privacies such as in reproductive decisions. States may not interfere at all with abortion during the first trimester at all; they may impose certain decisions during the second trimester if medically necessary to protect the health or life of the mother; they may prohibit abortion outright in the third trimester (Dershowitz, 2002).

That is because the Supreme Court decided in 1973 that reproductive autonomy could not be infringed upon by government (Dershowitz, 2002). While the U.S. Constitution does specifically refer to any right of privacy, the Court had already established in earlier decisions that such a general right does flow from the more explicit constitutional protections and principals (Dershowitz, 2002; Edwards, Wallenberg, & Lineberry, 2008). Those decisions also arose in connection with reproductive rights, such as the right to receive… [END OF PREVIEW]

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