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Roe versus Wade: a Victory as well as Defeat - Research Paper Example

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Roe V. Wade: A Victory as well as a Defeat Name Professor Class Date In 1973 the United States Supreme court decided on a case that fundamentally affected many aspects of American society and culture. This decision on Roe v. Wade essentially made the Supreme Court decide upon restriction on a woman’s body…
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Roe versus Wade: a Victory as well as Defeat
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Download file to see previous pages All in all, Roe v. Wade changed three fundamental elements of the United States public life: how women felt about their bodies, the effect that the ruling had on the medical community, and how this ruling solidified the governments standing on inalienable rights. Prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling, there was a long history of abortion disputes and conversation about legality and a woman’s choice. For thousands of years abortions had been legal and an established medical practice. Even when the pilgrims came to the United States abortion was thought of as something that herbs and midwives performed (Rubin, 1). Abortions up to the mid 1900s were considered family business, done usually in the privacy of the woman’s home. It was not until the mid to late 1800s that individual states started to pass legislation that banned abortions. While the driving force for illegality is debated, there are certain elements that proved to ease the ban. These elements ranged from fear that new immigrants could outnumber Anglo-Saxon residents to doctors not wanting their potential profit being spent on apothecaries and midwives. What originally began in Connecticut in 1821 as a way to ensure that women were not being poisoned in hopes of having a miscarriage, soon turned into statutes that made abortion a crime, and the woman who sought one out a criminal.1 The argument by many was that the Christian faith had always banned abortion and therefore should be brought back into legislation in the United States. Due to the previous statutes regarding government be separate from church, this argument should not have had the baring it did. While some did not agree with these bans, it was not until the 1950s-1960s that voices against abortion bans started to be heard loudly. It was not that people did not fight it before, but three aspects in the United States started to change the flow of thought. In the early 20th century Margaret Sanger and a group of fellow feminists began the conversation of family planning by calling for the legalization of birth control. Until this point, anything that count be construed as inhibiting birth was prohibited. In addition to Sanger was the emergence of movement for the blacks’ civil rights, along with women’s rights. Both of these movements in the 1960s gave the term “rights” to the discussion. Last but not the least part of American History that is often overlooked is the eugenics movement that emerged in the progressive era. This movement demanded that strong, native, Caucasian Americans be strengthened while lesser populations are removed from society though birth control, sterilization, and immigration restriction.2 The medical community was generally behind these measures, as it allowed a medical monopoly on the reproductive process. Not all those in the medical community agreed with the state statutes regarding a ban of birth control and abortion. In three separate cases prior to Roe V. Wade, the notion that women had a right to their bodies with respects to reproductive choices collided with the states belief that contraceptives were illegal and therefore a woman had no rights. The first case that directly affected the future of contraceptives for women was Tileston V Ullman. The case came about due to a doctor instructing his patients who he believed may have life altering consequences during child-baring.3 The doctor attempted to invoke the 14th Amendment which states that no ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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