Abortion Discuss the Legal and Ethical Issues Research Paper

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Discuss the legal and ethical issues involved in Roe v. Wade

With the advent of 70's and particularly, aftermath of the decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade during 1973, abortion policy has become a controversial issue in the American politics. (Levine; Staiger; Kane; Zimmerman, 1996) The decision in Roe v. Wade reinforced the right of women to privacy with regard to her own body, incorporating the termination of pregnancy. (Pozga, 2010) Roe v. Wade delineated more specifically the rights of fetus as well as the mother on the basis of the magnitude of viability. (Killion; Dempski, 2000)

The decision in Roe v. Wade which accorded constitutional protection to abortion, which voided the state laws which banned it, was a decision which had several legal and ethical concerns. This verdict in Roe v. Wade damaged the cornerstone of the ethical principles against the issue of killing. The results of Roe v. Wade were seen as ghastly. Ever since the decision of Roe came 50 million abortions were effected in America, apart from 3 to 6% of unreported abortions as estimated by Alan Guttmacher Institute. In the year 2005, the Alan Guttmacher Institute estimated the total number of abortions to be 1,206,200. About a quarter of all recorded pregnancies, at the rate of 224 out of 1000 have been terminated during that year. About 1.94% of women in the age group of 15 to 44 had experienced an abortion during the year. Out of the total number of women effecting abortion in 2005, about half i.e. 47% had multiple abortions. About one thirds i.e. 37% of abortions have been effected after completion of nine weeks with detectable brain waves and beating heart.

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With the verdict of Roe v. Wade in 1973, even though the right of women to an abortion has been made constitutional, yet most of legal issues had not been resolved, it had not dealt with the problem of shortage of abortion service in the nation. (Mezey; Tatalovich; Walsh, 1994) The verdict derived from Roe and Wade presently is obsolete. The technical advancement of 1980s in the reproductive technology presently challenges the conceptualizations and increase crucial political concerns and Roe can no longer serve to direct their resolution. Significant limitations are: (1) the viability concept as applied to decide the cut-off position for abortion in the context of present technological capacities (2) the personhood concept, that varying technology continues to confuse and (3) the decision's unsuitable application as a model for reproductive technology concerns other than abortion. It is recommended that: Roe v. Wade be re-analyzed and updated by means of the action of U.S. Supreme Court on the basis of constitutional framework in contradiction to technology's vicissitudes; the meaning of personhood, birth and viability be updated; and Roe v. Wade no more to be utilized to motivate with regard to other biomedical issues. (Behuniak-Long, 1989)

2) Several states have proposed legislation mandating that before a woman can have an abortion, she must undergo an ultrasound that will display the developing fetus. Discuss the legal and ethical ramifications of such a law.

Ever since the middle of the 1990's, many of the states have adopted the requirement of ultrasound for abortion service. Many of the legal provisions necessitates that a woman warranting an abortion fetch information on attaining the ultrasound services, while many others necessitates.....

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