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NAU ENG 105 - Kristina_Simonovic_Issue_Exploration_Final_Draft

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Kristina Simonovic3/30/14DuckworthIssue ExplorationAbortionThere are two perspectives on the controversy of whether or not abortion should be outlawed. Currently, the US Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade declares that abortion is included in an individual’s “zone of privacy” (McBride), however the controversy has people divided into two sides: Pro-Choice and Pro- Life. People that are considered to be Pro-Life argue that abortion should not remainlegal due to the lack of rights for the fetus. Contrarily, people who are Pro-Choice disagree and feel that the woman’s reproductive rights should be protected over the fetus’s rights. In 1970, Texas laws prohibited abortion except in the case that it would save a pregnant woman’s life. At that time, “…most states severely restricted or banned the practice of abortion” (McBride). It was considered a difficult task and required large sums of money to travel to states where a woman might not even be guaranteed an abortion. With the start of the feminist movement, abortion restrictions were being challenged (Rivkin-Fish). Jane Roe, who was a resident of Texas, requested terminating her pregnancy but laws banning abortion stood in her way. She claimed that although she didn’t have a life threatening circumstance, she was financially unstable and couldn’t afford traveling out of the state to proceed withan abortion (McBride). Roe challenged the constitutionality of the Texas law by 1bringing a lawsuit to court in 1971. The Does, a married couple with no children, sought to enforce the law and hired attorney Henry Wade who was the defendant. After debating, the Texas Federal Court “ruled that the law violated the Constitution”(McBride). Wade made an appeal to the US Supreme Court and the case was reviewed all the way through 1972. In 1973, the US Supreme Court “ruled that the Texas statute violated Jane Roe's constitutional right to privacy” (McBride). The Texas law was repealed due to “the Constitution’s First, Fourth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments that protect an individual’s “zone of privacy” against state laws” (McBride). Roe won the lawsuit at trial announcing abortion legal in all states of the US. Ever since the Roe v. Wade case in 1973, “Jane Roe is described as an engine of controversy regarding a gender war over the issue of whether women are or should be citizens of the republic of choice” (Chen 73). The nation continues to debate about rights concerning both the woman and the fetus and whose rights are predominant. Despite all of the controversy, abortion continues to be legal in the states with certain restrictions. Restrictions consist of anti-abortionist laws being passed in states to limit the number of abortions coinciding in those states. Examples of restrictions include banning the use of abortion drugs like RU-486, outlawing abortion after a determined amount of time (usually after the first trimester), raising qualifications for doctor’s to be eligible to perform abortion procedures, and requiring waiting periods where patients are counseled on their decision.The most recent anti-abortionist law was passed in Texas on July 18, 2013. 2The law, SB5, prohibits abortion at 20 weeks after fertilization. In addition, the law restricts any use of abortion drugs, specifically RU-486. The bill exempts women in circumstances concerning life or death or severe health issues due to giving birth (Laubenberg). The Texas senate has persistently made abortion less accessible to the people of their state by adding numerous restrictions on abortion. A news articlein The New York Times stated, “The Texas law has forced several abortion clinics in the state to shut down” (Eckholm). Figure 1 illustrates a political cartoon of a hanger shaped like the state of Texas, symbolizing unsafe abortion and suggesting that the passing of SB5 has contributed to a large amount of unsafe abortions in Texas due to the closing of many abortion clinics.http://humorinamerica.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/abortion-sb5-texas-web-6-19-13.jpgFigure 1 is a political cartoon that demonstrates the efforts of the Texas Senate to put an endto abortion. It has led to a greater number of illegal and unsafe abortions.With the abolition of abortion, women may take extreme measures by resorting to unsafe illegal abortions that can highly compromise the health of those women (Hodgson). Research shows, “Women are just as likely to get an abortion in 3countries where it is outlawed as they are in countries where it is legal” (NBCNews). The study also showed that, “…abortion rates are virtually equal in rich and poor countries” (NBCNews). As shown in Figure 2, there were 21.9 million safe abortions and 19.7 million unsafe abortions worldwide in 2003. Nearly half of abortions performed worldwide were considered unsafe. This could be the effect of either restricting laws or unskilled doctors. There is a common trend of unsafe abortions being done in developing countries. In fact, “Nearly 97 percent of all unsafe abortions were in poor countries” (NBCNews). Keeping abortion legal means keeping abortion safe for people around the world. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/21255186/ns/health-womens_health/t/abortion-rates-same-whether-legal-or-not/#.UziltF7lc2c 4Figure 2 is a chart indicating the number of unsafe abortions in the world performed in 2003. About half of the abortions were said to be unsafe with 97% of the unsafe abortions being performed in developing countries. Abortion is a safe medical procedure that is available to women who decide to use it, which could be considered necessary at times. For example women may be risking their lives giving birth to a child and in specific cases, the risk of losing their lives is too high. Additionally, if a woman was to get raped and it resulted with pregnancy, no one should expect that woman to raise that child. Another reason to keep abortion legal would include the circumstance in which a fetus is extremely weak and ill and if it was to be born, it would suffer in more than one way and it would not live a normal life. In cases like such, abortion would be at hand for womenif they chose to utilize it. The issue here is where one draws the line between a sensible and unjustifiable decision to have an abortion; also, when and in what circumstances would abortion be considered crossing the line of morality. People have been debating this particular issue for decades,


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