Abortions in America

Abortion is a very touchy topic in America. For several decades there has been a debate if abortions are legal or not. In this paper I will attempt to take you through the history of abortions with a specification on politics. The practice of abortion dates back to ancient times. Pregnancies were terminated through a number of methods, including tools, taking abortion herbs, the use of sharpened tools, abdominal pressure, and other techniques. In western parts of the world during the 20th century various women’s rights groups, doctors, and social reformers successfully worked to have abortion bans repealed.
Various anti-abortion laws have been on every state statute book since at least 1900. During this time, abortion was illegal in 30 states, and legal in 20 states under certain circumstances. These circumstances were rape, incest, and date drug. Abortions were seen as only need in life and death situations. The criminalization of abortion accelerated during the 1860’s. By the 1900’s it was generally punished as a felony. In the 1930’s approximately 800,000 abortions a year were performed by licensed physicians. In 1962 Colorado became the first state to legalize abortions but only under the circumstances I previously disclosed.
Soon similar laws were passed in California, Oregon, and North Carolina. In 1970, Hawaii was the first state to legalize abortions on the request of the mother. This lead the way for New York, to repeal its laws and allow women to terminate their pregnancy up to 24 weeks. A law in Washington, DC allowed abortion to protect the life and health of the women, was challenged in the Supreme Court in 1971. The case was United States v. Vuitvch. In this case, the Supreme Court upheld the law, stating that “health” meant a women’s physical and mental well-being. This allowed women in Washington, DC to receive abortions.

The Supreme Court decision, Roe v Wade set guidelines for the availability of abortion. The case established that the “must be considered against important state interests in regulation. ” The Supreme Court ruled that the Texas statute forbidding abortion except when necessary to save the life of the mother was unconstitutional. The decision in this case was later modified by the Planned Parenthood v Casey case in 1992. It upheld the decision on central holding, but it revised the trimester system with the point of fetal viability. It defined fetal viability as the states right to verride the women’s autonomy. The Constitutional protection of women’s decision to terminate her pregnancy comes from the due process clause of the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment states that no state shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”. In a more recent case, on April 18, 2007 the Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case Gonzales v. Carhart. The case dealt with the federal law “Partial Abortion Ban Act of 2003”. President George W. Bush signed it into law. The sentence that carried for breaking this law was up to 2. 5 years.
Since 1995, The House of Representatives and U. S. Senate, which was led by the Congressional Republicans, tried several times to pass laws banning the specific type of abortion known as, partial abortions. After much emotion filled and long debates on the issue of partial abortions, President Bill Clinton vetoed the bills in April 1966. In October 1997 on the evidence that they did not include health expectations. Other tries of the Congress to override the veto were not successful. On October 2, 2003, the house approved once again the measure of banning partial abortions with a vote of 281-142.
With this law in place, a doctor or physician could face up to 2 years in prison and could face civil lawsuits. Women who undergo partial abortions could not be prosecuted under this law. The law did include an exemption for women whose life was threatened without the partial abortions. On October 21, 2003 they passed a similar law with the help of demarcates with a vote of 64-34. The bill was signed by President George W. Bush on November of 2003. The federal judge blocked its enforcement in several states hours after it became law.
The Supreme Court still enforced its ruling of a nationwide ban on the procedure of partial abortions from the case Gonzales v Carhart. The Supreme Court made a statement stating that just because there was a 5-4 ruling; The Partial Abortion Ban Act does not cause problems with the previous court decisions towards abortions. The current interpretation of the U. S. Constitution by The U. S. Supreme court based on the landmark case of Roe v Wade in 1973 is that abortion is legal but may be illegal by the states to a certain degree. This means abortions may be illegal from state to state but under the conditions of ape or incest for an example, an abortion can be performed in those states. Many states in America have passed laws to restrict late term abortions. Also, in many states, parental notification is required for minors to receive an abortion, and in clinics, it is mandatory to tell the patient abortion risk information before the procedure is started. The article that is most debated from The Constitution when it comes to abortions, is the Fourteenth Amendment, which states: ’ All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. ” The one problem with legalizing abortions is trying to determine when a fetus is able to live outside of the womb on its own. The majority rule in the case of Roe v Wade states that a fetus is viable at or after 28 weeks but can occur earlier. Viability can even occur as early as 24 weeks.
With the technology advances over the last thirty years, a fetus is able to live outside of the womb a few weeks earlier than 24 weeks. These advances only make it harder to determine whether abortions are legal or illegal. To this date, in the youngest child to survive as a premature was delivered at weeks and 3 days. Due to the split laws between the federal government and state government, to get a legal abortion varies from state to state. Eighty-seven percent of U. S. territories and states have no abortion provider. Only seventeen states offer coverage of abortions under state healthcare plans.
Legalizing abortions in the United States is a major issue that frequently arises during the nomination of people to the U. S. Supreme Court. With that being said, many nominees prefer to remain silent about that issue during their hearing because abortions may come up while their a judge. On April 1, 2004, President Bush signed The Unborn Victims of Violence Act. The act allows two specific charges to be filled against someone who kills a pregnant mother. One is for the mother and the other is for the fetus. The act specifically bans charges against the mother and the doctor when it comes to abortion procedures.
Various states have various laws when it comes to abortions. In March 2006, South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds signed a law that made performing abortions a felony. It was repealed in November 2006. In February 2006, Mississippi’s House Public Health Committee voted to approve a ban on abortions. The bill died after the house and senate failed to agree on compromise legislation. Several states enacted “trigger laws” which would only take effect if the Roe v Wade decision was overturned. In February of 2009, The Personhood of Children Act, was passed by the North Dakota House of Representatives.
The law was later defeated in the North Dakota Senate because if it was passed it would likely have been used to challenge Roe v. Wade. In February 2012, the Virginia House of Delegates passed House Bill 1 with a vote of 66-32. The law outlawed all Virginia abortions by declaring that the rights of persons apply from the moment sperm and egg unite. The second bill that was passed 63-36 vote, that requires a women to have an ultrasound before undergoing abortions. The public opinion towards abortions is split. It’s almost the 40th anniversary of Roe v.
Wade Supreme Court decision, majority of Americans believed abortion should be illegal in or most cases. This was conducted by the NBC News and The Wall Street Journal. Approx. seventy percent of respondents oppose Roe v. Wade being over turned; forty-eight percent supported it being over turned. This paper was written to address the abortion topic in America with a specific on politics. The paper stated the views and laws from the earliest days of abortions to now present day. The laws have changed over time, but still with decades to come you can count on abortions still to be a controversial.

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