Nov 17, 2021 | 0 comments

Nov 17, 2021 | Essays | 0 comments

The case of Roe versus Wade in 1973 in the United States of America was ruled by the Supreme Court, a ruling that became a landmark ruling which was based on the constitutionality of laws that made criminalized abortion (Ashlock 8). The judgment of the majority was written by Justice Blackmun which acknowledged the fact that the choice of a woman’s to have an abortion is secured by the woman’s right to privacy. On the other hand, Justice Rehnquist and White dissented with a different opinion (Higgins, Melissa, and Joseph 4).
The majority ruled that the right of a woman to choose on whether she wants abortion is linked to the question of whether the woman is protected in the constitution by the right to privacy. According to Higgins, Melissa, and Joseph, this question was answered by the justice by proclaiming that the 14 th Amendment that forbids the state from “depriving any person of liberty without due process of law” protected an essential privacy rights (14). Moreover significant in-depth debate on the law’s historical absence of the acknowledgement of rights of the unborn child, the justice came into conclusion stating” the word “person” as utilized in the 14th amendment, excludes the child who is unborn. It was therefore concluded that the woman right to carry out an abortion purely falls within her fundamentally acknowledged privacy rights and hence the constitution effectively protects her (Rafferty 41).
It’s vital to note that the court did not consider the woman right to have an abortion as an absolute right. The court determined that the limit set by the state on the woman right to choose were subject to a review which has got the highest standard, that that would impose a strict scrutiny. According to Ashlock this level of assessment dictates that in order for the regulation to be enforced it’s upon the government to show the regulation is customized to strictly meet the state compelling interest (53). The justices acknowledged the fact that the state interest in regulating as well as prohibiting abortion is legitimate.
According to Rafferty the first compelling interest that the state has is the protection of the health of the pregnant mother and keeping her safe from the procedures of the abortions; secondly the protection of the life of the unborn baby. Considering the fact that this interest did not hold more water at the initial pregnancy phase, they tend to appear substantially compelling as compared to the later pregnancy stages (37). Establishing an equilibrium between the woman’s privacy rights as well as the state interest, the court came up with an outline which outweighs the government enabling regulation as well as forbidding the abortion.
The outline indicates that, within the initial three months of the pregnancy, the woman’s privacy rights to carry out an abortion override the interest of the state in regulation the decision. (Higgins, Melissa, and Joseph 29) This is due to the fact abortion is done in the first trimester have less danger to the life and the overall health of the mother and also during this period the fetus is still not fully developed. Therefore the state interest is not compelling and it cannot overweigh the woman’s right to privacy, therefore, regulating abortion at this stage is illegal or infringement of the woman’s right to privacy (Higgins, Melissa, and Joseph 30). At the second trimester this is where the interest of the state becomes more compelling and carries more weight than the woman’s right to privacy, this is due to the fact that at this stage the woman is at more risk due to the complication she might face as well as the fetus is fully developed at this period . During this stage abortion maybe regulated and not prohibited by the state. The final trimester is where the state prohibits abortion as their interest is most compelling at this level.
In the dissenting view, Justice Rehnquist stated that the intention of the drafters of the 14th amendment was not intended for the protection of privacy rights, this is due to the fact that they did not acknowledge that right and also their intention was not to protect the decision of a woman to carry out an abortion. He further stated that the only privacy rights acknowledged are those which are secured by the 14th amendment which forbids the unreasonable and inappropriate searches as well as a seizure. He concluded that the decision was not an appropriate one due to the fact that the issue required a balance of interest of both the state and the woman and the question could have been better handled by the legislators (Cordova 33).
*Work cited*
Ashlock, Eric E. *After Roe Vs. Wade: A Case Study of Abortion Law Dynamics in America, with Possible Implications for the State of California*. , 1991. Print.
Cordova, Jofelo T. *A Layman’s Dissenting Opinion: Roe Vs. Wade Abortion Decision*. San Jose, Ca: Myriad Enterprises, 1995. Print.
Higgins, Melissa, and Joseph W. Dellapenna. *Roe V. Wade: Abortion and a Woman’s Right to Privacy*. Minneapolis, MN: ABDO Pub, 2013. Print.
Rafferty, Philip A. *A Silver Bullet for Roe V Wade*. , 2015. Print.