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A Womans Choice

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The abortion debate in America has been framed by something known as "A Women's Right To Choose!" But of just what does the Women's Right To Choose consist of ? It is premised, we are told, on a "right to privacy." But exactly what is included in that right to privacy, and what excluded? I hold my own opinion to this subject as being Pro-Choice (Pro-Choice is defined as having the ability to choose).

Opponents of choice have been using inflammatory rhetoric about "infanticide" and "partial-birth" abortion in a nationwide strategy to further their goal of eroding women's reproductive options. However, bans on abortion procedures are unconstitutional in at least three ways. First, the definition of what methods of abortion would be banned is vague and overboard - it would ban a variety of safe and common abortion procedures, not just the unsafe procedures. Second, by banning a variety of safe abortion procedures, the bans impose an undue burden on women seeking access to abortions by forcing them to rely upon less safe medical options, or even non-medical options. Finally, these bans are unconstitutional because they do not allow a women to obtain a banned procedure when it would preserve her health. The Supreme Court's decision in Roe v.s. Wade is often misrepresented by those who oppose safe, legal abortion. It is often portrayed as giving women the right to terminate their pregnancy for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy. But contrary to the arguments of many abortion opponents, Roe does not provide for "abortion on demand." The court held that a woman has the right to choose abortion until fetal viability - the time at which it first becomes realistically possible for a fetus to live outside the woman's body - but that the states interest outweighs the woman's right after that point. So what happened to our "right to privacy"?

Except in the story of the Emperor's New Cloths, I cannot think of a more startling example of mass refusal to see the obvious than is presented by the current attitudes toward the population problem on the one hand and abortion on the other. The government continues to maintain strict antiabortion laws on the books of at least four fifths of our states, denying freedom of choice to women and physicians and compelling the "unwilling to bear the unwanted." Yet as Dr. Christopher Tietze and Sarah Lewit point out in the Scientific American (January 1969), "Abortion is still the most widespread method of fertility control in the modern world. Since, however abortions



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