Throughout history, there have been many topics that have caused disagreements among citizens of the United States. Abortion is one issue that has caused a lot of controversy between Americans. Abortion is the deliberate termination of a pregnancy, which can happen in several different ways depending on how far a woman is in her pregnancy. Many of these methods have been considered unethical by different groups of people. Over the years, court cases, religious groups, and the government have tried to resolve this controversy. However, Americans have so many different opinions on abortion that it makes it hard to resolve. According to a Marist Poll conducted in December 2011, 79% of Americans do not support the current abortion-on-demand policy, saying abortion should be legal only in some circumstances (68%), or illegal in all circumstances (11%) (MCCL). It’s a concern to many Americans because it affects people socially, economically, politically, and religiously in many different ways. There are many causes to what has sparked controversy within the idea of abortion. United States abortion laws have been changed many times throughout history. In the early 1800s, it was discovered and that “life begins at fertilization and not when the mother 'felt life.'” (Fox News). Because of this, in 1869 the Offenses Against the Persons Act was passed which made any abortion at any time of a pregnancy a felony. As years progressed into the mid 1900s, abortion became a state-regulated issue. Some states like California, and Colorado had legalized abortion. However, many states in the 1970s still stated that abortion was illegal.
In the 1970s, the historical case of Roe vs. Wade was brought to the Supreme Court regarding abortion. Roe (who’s real name was Norma McCorvey) was a single, pregnant woman living in Texas who wanted an abortion. She had many reasons for wanting one, but money was a huge issue for her. Abortions were illegal in Texas at the time when she became pregnant. Roe’s argument was that the Texas state law on abortion violated her right of privacy, violated the right of doctors to give medical care, and was unconstitutionally vague (Law2). The state of Texas’ main argument against Roe was that there was no “right to an abortion” in the constitution, therefore the state could regulate the issue however they wanted to. After months of arguing on both sides, the Supreme Court voted 7-2 in favor of Roe. This made abortion legal in all 50 states at any time of a woman’s pregnancy, and that late term abortions needed the approval of a licensed physician to judge the procedure necessary to protect the mother's health. The case of Roe vs. Wade caused mixed feelings in the citizens of the United States, and also sparked many other cases. It made many religious groups very angry. In the Catholic Church, life is considered to begin at conception. Therefore Catholics believe that abortion is a sin, because you are in a sense killing a human life. The decision of Roe vs. Wade caused a lot of protest within the Church, because the Church believed that this court decision showed that the United States government was saying that murdering a human life was acceptable.
Roe vs. Wade also caused a lot of pro-choice groups to start. Margaret Sanger started Planned Parenthood in 1916. She opened the United States’ first family planning clinic in Brooklyn, New York (PlannedParenthood 1). After the case of Roe vs. Wade, a lot more advertising, and more centers for Planned Parenthood appeared across the United States. They also received funding from some states that supported abortion and family planning. Bill H.J. RES. 1973 introduced by Mr. Hyde states many things regarding abortion. First, it states “With respect to the right to life, the word ‘person’ as used in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, applies to all human beings, including unborn offspring at every stage of their...
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