I really enjoyed Mr. Doggett’s presentation on Roe vs. Wade. I had the advantage of being in his U.S. Supreme Court class where we discussed the case from a lawyer’s perspective, so I found it interesting to look at this case from a new angle. The Supreme Court case Roe vs. Wade is an ongoing debate today. I liked how Mr. Doggett talked about previous cases regarding privacy and protection like Griswold vs. Connecticut and Skinner vs. Oklahoma. In this we could start to interperate our rights in the Constitution and why people challenge authorities.
Pro-life and pro-choice are complicated opinions. Most people are torn between them and it is hard for them to stand fully behind one side. Mr. Doggett pointed out that even the deciding justice on Roe vs. Wade, Justice Blackman, came to a compromise. He constructed a “Trimester System” which has three timeframes for when abortions are eligible and when they are not. In the first trimester of the pregnancy he ruled that all women can get an abortion. In the second trimester, they are still eligible, but the state can impose limits. And in the last trimester abortions are not allowed because the fetus is viable. I like to think of Justice Blackman’s ruling as a temporary solution, only because it is vague. There can be incongruency among different states and their limitations in the second trimester, but the other issue is that Blackman says the fetus is viable in the third trimester. Many argue that a fetus becomes a person at conception. The wording on his rulings are vague, and because there was no permanent decision on abortion it is still being discussed today.
What I find really intriguing about abortion is a woman’s right to privacy. The reading states “the court concluded that constitutional rights to privacy and liberty protected a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy”(Masci 2). Although the ruling clearly highlights how abortion affiliates with privacy, is it really? If the state can intervene in the second trimester they can easily deny a woman from terminating her pregnancy for many reasons. In that situation does the state have control over the woman’s body? This ruling only gives a woman three months to get an abortion, and many women do not even discover they are pregnant until they are two or three months along.
Another problem with abortion and restrictions on it, is that the law targets women. Obviously men cannot get pregnant, however, men are just as big of a part of making a baby as women are. If a man does not want his baby, he can walk away, where as a woman has to fight the law. Does that seem fair? I’m not saying abortion is ethical or right, but there are advantages and disadvantages to it. People have different opinions and experiences regarding pregnancies and abortions, however what I do know is that a woman’s body should be protected in her country. The current law allows time for a woman to decide for herself, but there have been cases when their rights to privacy have been abused. The debate over Roe vs. Wade is not over, and it won’t be until there is a concrete solution.