Abortion: Abortion and Medical Abortion Procedure Essay

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ABORTION The type of abortion procedure used in elective pregnancy termination is primarily determined by how far a woman is into pregnancy. During the first trimester, you will usually have the option of having a medical abortion procedure or a surgical abortion procedure. Before considering the options, it is recommended that you obtain a sonogram to determine if the pregnancy is viable and for accurate pregnancy dating.The Court established a right of personal privacy protected by the due process clause that includes the right of a woman to determine whether or not to bear a child. The Court dramatically increased judicial oversight of legislation under the privacy line of cases, striking down aspects of abortion-related laws in practically all the States, the District of Columbia, and the territories.The Court held that through the end of the first trimester of pregnancy, only a pregnant woman and her doctor have the legal right to make the decision about an abortion. States can restrict second-trimester abortions only in the interest of the woman's safety. Protection of a "viable fetus'' (able to survive outside the womb) is allowed only during the third trimester. If a pregnant woman's life or health is endangered, she cannot be forced to continue the pregnancy. In the five years before Roe, 16 states with 41 percent of the nation's population had liberalized their abortion laws. When the decision was announced, almost every state legislature was beginning its session, and many likely would have passed similar legislation.The result has been that abortion has become a national political issue. Initially, the abortion issue split both parties. More recently, it has come to define them.Today there are few pro-life Democratic politicians or pro-choice Republicans. In Europe, in contrast, where abortion has been legalized with varying restrictions, it has seldom been a matter of partisan controversy. In Roe v. Wade (1973), the Supreme Court held that a pregnant woman has a fundamental privacy right to obtain an abortion. The Court’s opinion was written by Justice Harry Blackmun. The right to abortion, the Court cautioned, is not absolute and has to be balanced against the State’s countervailing interests in preserving the health of the woman and in protecting the “potential” life of the unborn child. The State’s interest in preserving the health of the woman becomes “compelling,” and thus weighty enough to…