Wednesday, April 1, 2015

It was great this week to have Mr. Doggett being that he spoke about a more current issue that still causes discussions and debates today. He jumped right into the topic of abortion by informing us of all the historic performances of abortion. From injecting themselves with turpentine to sticking knitting needles up their vaginas, women have always found creative ways to perform self-inflicted abortions. They were driven to perform these questionable methods at one time because they were unable to get professional abortions done by licensed doctors which is even a struggle for many women today. A lot of doctors did not perform abortions due to the fact that they would be fined or given jail time in certain states that considered abortion to be murder. In the 1960's, for example, women were only allowed to get abortions if they had been raped or if the baby had been proven to be a threat to the mothers life. During this time, only New York, Hawaii, and Alaska allowed for any woman, no matter the circumstances, to have an abortion. Opposed, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana did not allow for any women to have an abortion.
Also interesting to learn about were the major court cases that became influential and steered what we know about abortion in the US today; examples being Skinner vs Oklahoma, Griswold vs Connecticut, and most historic, Roe vs Wade. Skinner committed three crimes that resulted in his incarceration which in the state of Oklahoma is probable cause for him to be sterilized. He fought this by arguing equal protection and stating that procreation was a natural right. After him was Griswold of Planned Parenthood, one that had recently opened in New Haven, CT. In the state it was illegal for people to use contraception whether it be a drug or an instrument and Griswold decided to hand out condoms to people causing her to eventually be arrested which pleased her because she wished to challenge the law. She argued for her right to privacy using the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, and 14th amendments and won her case. The final case we discussed was Roe vs Wade which resulted in the trimester system, a system that is still used today. If a woman wishes to get an abortion she is allowed to do so in the 1st trimester and the 2nd trimester if she makes a compelling argument. However, women were then deemed unable to have an abortion during their 3rd trimester because the baby is too far along at that point. Even though this was the final decision, a few members disagreed. An example being that someone argued that a fetus is a person from conception. In general this case resulted in a lot of uproar due to all the people who disagreed with the instillation of abortion in our society completely.
The question now is whether the trimester system is still applicable due to all the advancements that have been made since Roe vs Wade. Some states today even attempt to make it harder for girls to get abortions by creating more hoops for them to jump through such as getting parental consent if under 18, spousal approval, which was eventually removed, and required counseling. Personally I believe that women should be able to have the choice to have an abortion. I'm not entirely sure where I believe the cut off should be but at least within the 1st trimester, women should be allowed to have the choice. It is their bodies after all.

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