Posts tagged ‘abortion’

May 28, 2010

Abortion and Roe v. Wade

I am so interested in law and it’s the unfairness of it that attracts me. I want to learn how to work within the system to change it. I’ve gotten to some really good parts in my text, so I will have quite a few political and somewhat educational texts. Well just educational texts really, since as a help in retaining all the info I am learning I will be posting excerpts that seem important from all my classes. Today is American Federal Government since that’s what I’m cramming on. These blog entries are my breaks between long reading periods, Anyways, I am in the same section on personal liberties again and this time, as the title states, it’s about abortion. Before I even get into this, I am completely pro-choice. I have had an abortion myself. It wasn’t an easy choice but it was the best choice and I don’t appreciate anyone trying to tell me what I can do with my body. A 2 month old fetus is only a fetus, it is not a life yet. So this is a series of excerpts from this section in the chapter. I will start with Roe v. Wade and continue into the effects and the current conditions of the issue.

“In 1969,  Norma McCorvey sought an abortion in Texas but was refused by doctors who cited a state law prohibiting abortion except to save a woman’s life. McCorvey challenged the Texas law in federal courts on a variety of constitutional grounds, including the right to privacy. McCorvey became “Jane Roe” and the case became one of the most controversial in the Supreme Court’s history.

The Supreme Court ruled that the constitutional right of privacy as well as  the 14th Amendments guarantee of “liberty” included a woman’s decision to bear or not to bear a child. The Court held that the word person in the Constitution did not include the unborn child, therefore the 5th and 14th Amendments guarantee of “life, liberty, or property” did not protect the “life” of the fetus. The Court also ruled that a state’s power to protect the health and safety of the mother could not justify any restriction on abortion in the first 3 months of pregnancy….. Only in the final 3 months could a state prohibit or regulate abortion to protect the unborn.

Rather than end the political controversy over abortion, Roe v. Wade set off a conflagration. Congress defeated efforts to pass a constitutional amendment restricting abortion or declaring that life begins at conception. However, when Congress banned the use of federal funds under Medicaid…. for abortions except to protect the life of a woman, the Supreme Court upheld the ban, holding that there was no constitutional obligation for government to pay for abortions.”

Politics in America, 8th Ed., pg. 504; Thomas R. Dye and Batholomew H. Sparrow

Of course here’s some of the things that the college textbook doesn’t want to talk about.

After Roe v. Wade

The reaction to Roe was swift. Supporters of legal abortion rejoiced and generally felt their battle was won. However, others faulted the Court for the decision. Those opposed to legal abortion immediately began working to prevent any federal or state funding for abortion and to undermine or limit the effect of the decision.

Some turned to measures directly aimed at disrupting clinics where abortions were being provided. Their tactics have included demonstrating in front of abortion clinics, harassing people trying to enter, vandalizing clinic property, and blocking access to clinics.

As time passed, the level of anti-abortion violence escalated. Increasingly, clinic bombings, physical attacks, and even murders endanger abortion providers and create a hostile environment for women seeking abortions.

—  History of Abortion, National Abortion Federation

Multiple instances of anti-abortion violence in Florida:

Pensacola, FL: This city was a focal point for anti-abortion crime from mid 1984 to mid 1994: 4

bullet 1984-JUN: An abortion clinic was bombed.
bullet 1984-DEC: The same clinic was bombed again.
bullet 1986-MAR: A second clinic was broken into and vandalized; two female employees were assaulted. John Burt, a former member of the KKK, and his daughter were tried and convicted. John Burt became the local leader of Rescue America.
bullet 1993-MAR: Michael Griffin, allegedly a member of Rescue America, assassinated Dr. David Gunn outside an abortion clinic. Griffin’s lawyers claimed that Burt had brainwashed Griffin into committing the killing. (There is a consensus among mental health professionals that this sort of “Manchurian Candidate” programming is impossible). Griffin was convicted and given a life sentence.
bullet 1994-JUL: Paul Hill, a former Presbyterian minister and leader in Defensive Action assassinated a physician and bodyguard outside another abortion clinic; he also wounded the wife of the bodyguard. He was sentenced to both life imprisonment on federal charges, and execution on state charges.
bullet 1994-AUG: Five KKK groups demonstrated adjacent to an abortion clinic in Melbourne FL. They were opposed to abortions given to whites; they encourage abortions to persons of other races. They named Hill their hero of the month.

I can agree with everything that the Supreme Court has stated. Of course, I am not a person who believes it’s the government’s job to take care of any healthcare except for children whose parents can’t afford it. I believe in survival of the fittest and if an adult is not fit enough to take care of themselves, they don’t deserve health care. Children deserve it only because they cannot help themselves and did not ask to be born to weak and genetically defective parents. But once those children are adults, it is their job to take care of themselves. The rich are rich because they have earned it (well sometimes their parents and ancestors have earned it, but one of the privileges of being the fittest is being able to choose whether your children will have any access to your riches or have to earn their own. It’s your money and you can do what you want.) and the poor are poor for many reasons, all adding up to they have not proved themselves the fittest. We cultivate and nurture the stupidity and our society with all these damn welfare programs. But anyways back to abortion, I think it’s completely a woman’s right to choose whether they wish to have a child, but once out of the first trimester, science has proved that it becomes a miniature human and not just a fetus. You then cross the line into murder after the first trimester. I do believe late abortions are ok if it is a choice between the mother and the child surviving. A child should not be born into this world without a mother, on top of the fact that self-preservation is the greatest human instinct until you actually have a child in your hands. Then it becomes family preservation. But, the text goes on to say.

“Abortion has become such a polarizing issue that “pro-choice” and “pro-life” groups are generally unwilling to search out a middle ground. Yet the Supreme Court appears to have chosen a policy of affirming  a woman’s right to abortion while upholding modest restrictions…… [After a case, Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992)] The Court established a new standard of for constitutionally evaluating restrictions: they must not impose an “undue burden” on women seeking abortion or place “substantial obstacles” in her path.

Politics in America, 8th Ed., pg. 505; Thomas R. Dye and Batholomew H. Sparrow

Here the problem lies that there really is no middle ground. As a dedicated pro-choicer, I would not support any undue restrictions on abortion. All the restrictions I have mentioned so far, I can understand why they are there. But I can’t think of a single restriction beyond these that I would agree to being put in place. The part that seriously bothers me is that most pro-lifers (and I mean most, not all) only feel that way for religious reasons, which means 2 things: 1) You have no possible way of changing their minds. People are very stubborn and unbending on their religious beliefs, and 2) It proves they have no logical reason for being against it. Science has proven  that up to 3 months a fetus is not human, so that kills the common rule of no murder. Religion has no logic, it runs on faith and faith is a dangerous thing. maybe if an abortion were easier to get, we would not be creating quite the overpopulation issue we’re beginning to experience. But back to abortion, these pro-lifers are so obsessed with this issue  that they tend to picket abortion clinics and government has had to set rules to intervene.

” Freedom of assembly is currently being tested by opponents of abortion who picket abortion clinics, hoping to embarrass and dissuade women from entering them. Generally the courts have allowed limits on these demonstrations to ensure that people can move freely in and out of the clinics. Freedom of assembly does not include the right to block access to public or private buildings. And when abortion opponents demonstrated at the residence of a physician who performed abortions, the Supreme Court upheld a local ordinance barring assemblies in residential neighborhoods….. The Supreme Court made a distinction between a “fixed buffer zone,” prohibiting assembly around a building entrance, and a “floating buffer zone” (of 15 feet), prohibiting demonstrators from approaching individuals in public places. The “fixed zone” was held to be a constitutional limit on assembly but the “floating zone” was found to be a unconstutional limit on free speech. In 1994 Congress passed a federal law guaranteeing access to abortion clinics, arguing that the federal government should act to guarantee a recognized constitutional right.”

Politics in America, 8th Ed., pg. 513; Thomas R. Dye and Batholomew H. Sparrow

It’s sickening that people would treat each other like that. There’s a thousand parts about this that bother me but there’s one in particular that pops into my mind. Don’t these people have better things to do with their lives? Is their daily life so dull and inconsequential that they have to spend hours standing outside an abortion clinic in all kinds of weather just to yell at people and try to make them feel bad? Honestly, I consider myself pro-choice mainly for the fact that it’s their body, they can do what they want with it. I don’t like strippers or strip clubs, I think they’re demeaning and serve no purpose, but you don’t see me trying to get them shut down or outlawed. I will admit I am mouthy and if you are in front of me and I don’t like what you’re doing, I will most certainly tell you. If you are not my significant other, you will get my opinion and no more. No one has the right to make someone else’s decisions.