“If women are to be excluded without having a voice from a participation of the natural rights of mankind, prove first, to work off the charge of injustice and inconsistency, that they want reason-else this flaw in your new constitution will ever show that men must, in some shape, act like a tyrant, and tyranny, in whatever part of society it rears, its brazen front, will ever undermine morality.” – Mary Wollstonecraft.
On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States approved the decision to legalize abortion. This landmark decision was written to guarantee the individual’s right to make private and intimate decisions secure in the belief and knowledge that women will have the highest level of protection to make life choices consistent with their own moral and conscientious beliefs, and that no government will have the power to force a woman to continue or to end her pregnancy against her will.
Abortion is a deeply personal issue.
Should a woman have the right to have an abortion? How should this question be decided? Is it a legal question, a constitutional question, a medical question, a philosophical question or a religious question?
There are certain rights that are retained by the people. Although the right to privacy is not specifically mentioned within the Constitution, the Ninth Amendment implies its existence. The argument was expanded to include all amendments in which the right to privacy is implied, including the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Fourteenth.
In a concurring opinion, Justice Arthur Goldberg, Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Justice William Brennan cited former Justice Louis Brandeis’s analysis of the principles underlying the Constitution’s guarantee of privacy – aspects of family life in which the government could not interfere. It was considered to be “the most comprehensive of rights and the right mostly valued by civilized man.”
It was this premise that guaranteed the woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy by her constitutional right to privacy.
In 1972, I was employed as a nurse by a physician who specialized in obstetrics and gynecology.
With the introduction of ultrasound, fetal anomalies could be detected within the first few months of gestation. But the decision to abort was always made with the woman, her partner, and her doctor, not the politician.
Although an unborn fetus is to be protected, the health of the mother is paramount, placing a higher value on existing life than on potential life (Exodus 21-22-23).
I remained in that practice for 17 years.