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Abortion: Is it Both Moral and Legal?

Wade), what is the status of a woman's right to choose to end an unwanted pregnancy? Roe, it turned out, was only the starting point. As some states began a ferocious campaign to regulate abortion as close to the permissible line as possible (Sanger et al, 1998, p. 74).

There are obviously no simple answers to any of the legal or moral questions brought about by abortion and the law(s). If there were, the issue could be easily settled, even if it meant some sort of compromise. Dozens of books and hundreds of articles have been written, legal opinions handed down, even web sites established by pro-life and pro-abortion advocates.

First an overview and update of the legal actions and ramifications of abortion. Although the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision legalized abortion, subsequent more conservative Supreme Court decisions have narrowed the scope severely. To quote Chief Justice William Rehnquist: " Roe continues to exist, but only in the way a storefront on a western movie set exists, a mere fatade to give the illusion of reality." This sentiment, and more recent rulings such as the 1992 Planned Parenthood vs. Casey decision where the Court ruled that restrictions on abortion are constitutional provided they do not place an "undue burden" on a woman's access to abortion. Such restrictions include parental notification and consent, gag rules, and mandatory waiting periods. While the Journal of the American Medical Association boasts that, since 1990, the year in which abortions were the highest, the annual number of abortions in the U.S. has decreased by 15%, organizations such as NOW (National Organization for Women) claims that the reduction is due to the fact that 84 percent of counties in the U.S. do not have an abortion provider.

Even though all of the seven justices who participated in Roe vs. Wade are no longer alive, a look at some recent decisions indicate that the pendulum may be swinging in favor of the p...

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Abortion: Is it Both Moral and Legal?. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 12:03, November 30, 2015, from
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