During the 1820s, the United States began to create laws that stated that women could not have an abortion after her fourth month of pregnancy. By the year 1900, abortion had been completely banned in the United States, mostly because of legislators and physicians. But that did not stop women from having illegal abortions since they were quite common during that time. During this time, there were several feminists who were completely against women having abortions. One of these feminists was Susan B. Anthony. She, among others, were against abortion because it put the woman’s life in danger because abortion procedures were not safe during that time. Later on, feminists defended the use of birth control as a way to stop a woman from having an abortion.
By 1965, all 50 states had outlawed abortions with a few exceptions. These exceptions varied by state but stated that abortions could be performed in the case of rape or incest, if the fetus had some kind of handicap or disease or if it would save the mother’s life. In 1973, abortion took center stage with a Supreme Court case of Roe versus Wade. This case stated that the abortion laws that existed in all the states were unconstitutional. The decision was made that there were to be no legislative interference during the first four months of pregnancy. Many people were happy about decision but there were some, including the Roman Catholic Church, that were opposed to the decision. This is the time when the terms pro-life and pro-choice came about. Those who were pro-life opposed abortion and those who were pro-choice believe it is the woman’s right to choose. But those who were opposed to abortion defended their right both physically and violently. One example of this occurred in 1984, on Christmas Day. There were three abortion clinics in which opposers bombed claiming that it was done on Christmas Day as a gift to Jesus.
Many people often question why abortion is legal within the United Stateswhile others state that stopping abortion would not actually prevent it from happening since women would then go back to doing it illegally. The laws that criminalize abortion do not apply to the women having them yet to the doctors who perform them. This means that even if the state were to ban abortions as a form of medical procedures, a woman would still be free to end her pregnancy other ways such as taking certain medication which is intended for a specific use but when using it, will end a pregnancy. For example, abortion is illegal inNicaragua. Women who want to have an abortion often use an ulcer drug to terminate their pregnancy because it is inexpensive and it often looks like a miscarriage. So the bottom line is that abortion is legal because women have the right to choose what happens to their body during pregnancy and they also have the power to use that right regardless of government decisions.
People who oppose abortions often state that they oppose the abortion because whereas the woman has a right to choose, the fetus growing inside her does not have a right whether he or she wants to die or live. This has been a controversial issue for many years. In 1992, The Planned Parenthood versus Casey Standard was another popular case regarding abortions. The courts ruled in that case that instead of a woman having an abortion before she is 24 weeks along, the court cut it back to 22 weeks instead. Another case in 2007 which was Gonzáles versus Carhart, the Supreme Court rules that a partial-birth abortion does not go against this standard. Many abortion opposers also defend fetal homicides. In the case where pregnant woman is murdered, the perpetrator is charged with double murder, one for the pregnant mother and the other for the fetus growing inside her. So many opposers believe that when women have an abortion, they are in fact committing homicide against the fetus.
There are some states such as North Carolina, that have created laws which state that before a woman has an abortion, she must submit to an ultrasound in which the doctor shows for a visible image of the fetus. This law has been challenged because many people believe it is a violation of the First Amendment rights and is unconstitutional. In 2011, a federal judge inNorth Carolinadiscovered that the ultrasound display law more than likely violated the first amendment rights of doctors and also lacked state interest.
However, those that are pro-choice are totally against this law to begin with. They believe that it is a medical procedure that is completely unconstitutional. While the law does state the method behind the law, it does not state why the ultrasound itself is necessary. It is also seen as an awkward situation for women who are choosing to have an abortion. The law state that the reason for the ultrasound is to find out how far along the woman is in her pregnancy. But that doesn’t seem fair because women are asked when their last menstrual period was to determine the date of her pregnancy. It really doesn’t seem to matter much what the date of her pregnancy is since she is obviously choosing to terminate the pregnancy anyways.
Many people who oppose abortions, including many legislators, believe that abortions are potentially dangerous and trying to outlaw abortions is their way of informing women of the hazards. But think about this for a moment. Do we inform women that driving a car can be dangerous? Do we inform women that crossing the street can be hazardous? What about traveling toMexico? Is that not dangerous in certain parts of the country? What about using a stepstool or taking a shower? Can those tasks not be hazardous? The bottom line is that a woman has complete control over her body whether she is pregnant or not. She has a right to choose whether to carry her pregnancy full-term and have the child or to terminate her pregnancy early on.