The Viability of Roe: Introduction

Few issues in American history have been a divisive as that of abortion. Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v Wade, the issue has not gone away, but has only grown more public and more fractured over time. Both proponents and opponents of abortion have been severely critical of the Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, in fact, between 1973 and 2003, approximately 330 constitutional amendments regarding abortion were introduced in the United States Congress[1], and every year hundreds of bills are passed at the local and state level challenging its core holding- that women have a right to terminate their pregnancies through abortion. This summer, our nation was reminded once again, of how deep the division on this issue goes, as thousands of abortions supporters and opponents converged on Austin, Texas. Clad in orange and blue, men and women came in droves, to voice their opinion on a deeply important issue in today’s culture- what are the respective legal rights of preborn children and the mothers that carry them? This series of blog posts will attempt to answer that question.

Here is a brief synopsis of where I hope to go with this series:

  • Part 1 will briefly outline the decision in Roe, and will address many of the misconceptions regarding the case.
  • Part 2 will look at the subsequent case law on abortion, from Roe through the Carhart cases.
  • Part 3 will look at the historical inaccuracies on which Roe was based.
  • Part 4 looks at the Court’s analysis of the legal concept of personhood.
  • Part 5 looks at “health” exception in Roe (and subsequent cases) and whether the data supports abortion as beneficial for women’s health.
  • Part 6 proposes a new framework for considering the question of abortion and concludes by calling for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and a declaration of protection for preborn humans.

[1] See the full list provided by the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment at http://www.nchla.org/issues.asp?ID=46.

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