Abortion Discuss the Legal and Ethical Issues Research Paper

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Discuss the legal and ethical issues involved in Roe v. Wade

With the advent of 70's and particularly, aftermath of the decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade during 1973, abortion policy has become a controversial issue in the American politics. (Levine; Staiger; Kane; Zimmerman, 1996) The decision in Roe v. Wade reinforced the right of women to privacy with regard to her own body, incorporating the termination of pregnancy. (Pozga, 2010) Roe v. Wade delineated more specifically the rights of fetus as well as the mother on the basis of the magnitude of viability. (Killion; Dempski, 2000)

The decision in Roe v. Wade which accorded constitutional protection to abortion, which voided the state laws which banned it, was a decision which had several legal and ethical concerns. This verdict in Roe v. Wade damaged the cornerstone of the ethical principles against the issue of killing. The results of Roe v. Wade were seen as ghastly. Ever since the decision of Roe came 50 million abortions were effected in America, apart from 3 to 6% of unreported abortions as estimated by Alan Guttmacher Institute. In the year 2005, the Alan Guttmacher Institute estimated the total number of abortions to be 1,206,200. About a quarter of all recorded pregnancies, at the rate of 224 out of 1000 have been terminated during that year. About 1.94% of women in the age group of 15 to 44 had experienced an abortion during the year. Out of the total number of women effecting abortion in 2005, about half i.e. 47% had multiple abortions. About one thirds i.e. 37% of abortions have been effected after completion of nine weeks with detectable brain waves and beating heart. (Wardle; Hafen; Clark, 2008)

With the verdict of Roe v. Wade in 1973, even though the right of women to an abortion has been made constitutional, yet most of legal issues had not been resolved, it had not dealt with the problem of shortage of abortion service in the nation. (Mezey; Tatalovich; Walsh, 1994) The verdict derived from Roe and Wade presently is obsolete. The technical advancement of 1980s in the reproductive technology presently challenges the conceptualizations and increase crucial political concerns and Roe can no longer serve to direct their resolution. Significant limitations are: (1) the viability concept as applied to decide the cut-off position for abortion in the context of present technological capacities (2) the personhood concept, that varying technology continues to confuse and (3) the decision's unsuitable application as a model for reproductive technology concerns other than abortion. It is recommended that: Roe v. Wade be re-analyzed and updated by means of the action of U.S. Supreme Court on the basis of constitutional framework in contradiction to technology's vicissitudes; the meaning of personhood, birth and viability be updated; and Roe v. Wade no more to be utilized to motivate with regard to other biomedical issues. (Behuniak-Long, 1989)

2) Several states have proposed legislation mandating that before a woman can have an abortion, she must undergo an ultrasound that will display the developing fetus. Discuss the legal and ethical ramifications of such a law.

Ever since the middle of the 1990's, many of the states have adopted the requirement of ultrasound for abortion service. Many of the legal provisions necessitates that a woman warranting an abortion fetch information on attaining the ultrasound services, while many others necessitates that a woman should get an ultrasound scan prior to abortion. Eleven states necessitate written materials or…

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An ultrasound neither informs legally nor medically -- irrespective of that, it notifies them aesthetically. Women are compelled to view at an image of a fetus; however, the woman who desire to abort already has prior knowledge of the ultrasound image of fetus. Additionally, there is the concern for ultrasound prices. As per the law the patient is expected to take the burden of the compelling procedure. The law entails a fine of $2,500 for not complying with the legal necessities. Such incorporation of ultrasound is visualized as a method to financially dissuade women for resorting to a legal medical procedure. Irrespective of the ethical issues of the abortion the government is not expected to emphasize moral issues on its citizen legally. This law on this ground is regarded as appalling & the offensive government encroachment that is framed to embarrass women desiring to avail legal healthcare. (Fox, 2012)

Such laws pertaining to necessities of ultrasound for abortion is lacking in significant arenas and is not the most successful methods to insure that an abortion thinking mother gets advantages from the powerful influence of ultrasound. Particularly, all of these laws need that some ultrasound information be accorded to the woman from the doctor who is attending the woman. The attending doctor definitely desires that the women must select the option for abortion since the doctor will be paid for abortion. It is pertinent that any need that this person offer ultrasound information would be distorted and skewed by the attending doctor to persuade the mother to abort her baby. Secondly the limitation of the law is that it compels a mother to attain information that she does not require. This imposes problematic public relations. (Glessner, 2012)

An analysis of several laws enacted reveal that they are insufficient in assuring that a woman desirous of undergoing abortion will really view an ultrasound image of her child. Some of these laws simply necessitate that woman be told of

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