THE ABORTION DEBATE

The abortion debate is heating up again! Many are asking what is the effect of the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Roe vs Wade? The effect of the Roe vs Wade decision of 1972 is that a woman’s right to an abortion falls within the right to privacy protected by the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. constitution. This decision by the highest court in the country gives a woman the right to an abortion during her entire pregnancy and defines different levels of state interest for regulatory abortion in the second and third trimesters.

The additional effect of the Roe vs Wade decision was that all existing state laws limiting women’s access to abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy were invalidated. State laws limiting such access during the second trimester were upheld only when the restrictions were for the purpose of protecting the health of the pregnant woman.

Roe vs Wade essentially legalized abortion in America. Can we turn the clock back? Should we go back to the dark ages of women using clothes racks to get rid of unwanted kids? If a woman is raped should she be forced to raise a child that she does not plan for or want? The state should not rob a woman of her right to decide, or her right to obtain a second chance.

Many say abortion in America is unchristian. Yet many who seem so devoted to the rights of the unborn in America seem to callously support the spilling of blood abroad.

How can we make consistent the fact that those who support the rights of the unborn in America are unconcerned about indiscriminate bombing of Iraqis or Afghans? When the U.S. military declared “shock and awe” in the Middle East they meant that they could use deadly machines which by their very nature are indiscriminate. Yet none of the unborn in Afghanistan or Iraq who were killed by American bombs seem to matter, to the “Right to Life” crowd.

In fact, many who are anti-abortion seem to be hypocritical. They don’t seem to care about black ghetto abortions or abortions in foreign countries. In fact, politicians who are antiabortion seem to be pro-death penalty.

Dr. David P. Rowe, LLB, J.D., Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables,

Florida, U.S.A. He is a member of the Florida Bar and the Jamaica Bar.

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