Argosy University – Inland Empire
ENG 102 – Composition II
Instructor Michelle Dalrymple
This paper explores the reproductive rights of women and how the government is intruding upon those rights. Contraception prevents unwanted pregnancies and abortion is a means of terminating a pregnancy. Even though abortion is legal, there are still Pro-life supporters and people in congress who want to ban it altogether. This paper shows how the U.S. Constitution with the Bill of Rights were designed to protect a woman’s reproductive rights. Articles from online sources and newspapers will show how the government is meddling and that it should not be tolerated.
A Woman’s Right to Choose There is a young woman sitting outside a medical clinic. She just found out that she has a medical condition, pregnancy. She was too embarrassed to tell the doctor that she had too much to drink at a party last month and does not know who the father is. It was not a rape, but she had never done anything like that before. Now she is faced with an unwanted pregnancy. Abortion is a very controversial subject; some would say that the government is trying to have control over what a woman should do with her body. When a woman has unprotected sex, she might become pregnant. The result of conception is a fetus. A fetus does not meet the criteria for living human beings. Abortion is a moral and constitutional issue. The current law provides protection under the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The United States Supreme Court, with the ‘Roe vs. Wade’ case, legalized abortion in 1973. “The Ninth Amendment –The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” (Farber, 2007, pg 1) This claims that people have a right to privacy and should be able to do what they want as long as it does not harm others. Privacy is defined as the state of being free from intrusion in one’s private life or affairs. The government should not have any involvement in the reproductive rights of women. The choice of reproduction belongs solely to a woman. If a woman decides to use contraceptives, the choice is hers and hers alone. If a woman decides to terminate a pregnancy, that is also her choice. People who hold a ‘pro-life’ attitude argue that the procedure is killing a child. Abortion rights activists’ declare this is not true. Most people agree the criteria for a living human being is; having consciousness of objects, being able to feel pain, being able to reason or solve problems, having the capacity to communicate and being self-aware. (Warren, 2004, 2 para 5) So a fetus is not a human being and therefore is not protected by The Constitution. Pro-life advocates would like us to believe that life begins at conception. They think that a fetus should be protected by Child Protective Services. In an article by Donna Pampalone, she declares that “If women have the right to abort their children, it leaves the unborn child no protection from the very person who has given them life, or from the very society that claims murder is a crime.” (Pampalone, 2010, para 3) This is ludicrous because a fetus is not a viable living human, according to most doctors, until the 25th week of pregnancy. A woman’s body is hers alone. Her choice to terminate a pregnancy, before a fetus is viable, is the same as removing a tumor from the body. The Supreme Court admits that it is a woman’s fundamental right to choose abortion. Anti-abortionists are still trying to find ways of overturning the Supreme Court’s decision that legalized abortion. They have gotten some states to ban abortion coverage, and even forced closures of clinics that provide abortions. USA Today reported on 03/22/2011: Twice in recent years, abortion-rights opponents went to the ballot box in bids to ban abortion in South Dakota.