Abortion Rights vs Socially Constructed Morality

In the now often cited the decision in Rowe v Wade, the United States Supreme Court, on January 1973, by a vote of seven to two overturned a texas interpretation of abortion law making abortion legal in the United States. The alias "Jane Roe" was used for Norma McCorvey, on whose behalf the suit was originally filed, alleging that the abortion law in Texas violated her constitutional rights and the rights of other women. The defendant was the district attorney of Dallas County, Texas, Henry B. Wade.

The decision held that a woman, with her doctor, could choose abortion in earlier months of pregnancy without restriction, and with restrictions in later months, based on the right to privacy. Based on the decision, all state laws limiting women’s access to abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy were invalidated, and 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. Essentially and from that time forward, abortion in the United States, illegal in most states and limited in others, became a woman’s legal right to choose.

The basis of the decision simplified through complex legal Constitutional argument rested on the Ninth Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights. Not addressing the subject of abortion specifically, the Court in citing the Amendment in its decision rested on the portion of it that included the Bill of Rights and a person’s right to privacy, with the Court deciding "the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people…" (U.S. Supreme Court. ROE v. WADE, 410 U.S. 113 (1973). 410 U.S. 113).

Much has been written from a Constitutional viewpoint both supporting and challenging the Court’s decision, which for the purposes of this paper can not be analyzed from the complex perspective of Constitutional Law. For instance, Gargaro (2000), presenting her argument from an anti-abortion stance, calls the privacy decision “vague” based on the Fourteenth Amendment, citing decision remarks by Chief Justice Harry Blackmun…