It is a fundamental duty to respond to appeal by a citizen of the State of Nebraska as an appointed Justice to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Nebraska has recently passed legislation related to each of the following rights and freedoms in form of a legislation that would deny a woman’s right of choice with regard to abortion. This in direct violation of human rights and the following argument would prove that. One important reason why women tend to be more sexually conservative than males is the possibility of pregnancy. Pregnancy and child-rearing require enormous resources; therefore, females do not want to risk unwanted pregnancies. This translates into a general reluctance to engage in casual sexual relationships because of the fear.
Western society has progressed in areas such as technology, medicine, and communication, understanding and acceptance have lagged behind. In some cases, the opinions of some smaller groups have had a major impact on political decisions, which can, in turn, affect the rights of citizens.
Debates rage about an abundance of social and international issues, but one, which has become an immensely serious threat to the rights of citizens, is abortion. Reproductive rights have been debated for centuries, but recently, the opinions of some have mutated into threatening and violent actions and backward-stepping legislation. In debates about reproduction, the female body has lost its autonomy and become a social, political and moral battleground.
When examining the issue of reproductive rights, an obvious first question is “Whose rights are to be protected”?
(Herring, 112) Different groups will give different answers. The pro-life groups will advocate for the fetus’ rights. Pro-choice groups will hail the rights of women. Still other groups will support the fathers, rights. What happens when these rights inevitably conflict?
The answer lies in a confusing web of politics, religion, and culture. In order to fully understand the current spectrum of reproductive rights and freedoms, one must first look at its history.
One of the first reproductive issues to affect society was that of birth control. Linda Gordon explains that the first uses of birth control arose from the necessity of the nomadic life. Clans moving from place to place so often had to travel lightly, so a large family was a hindrance to this lifestyle. As societies grew around agriculture, the shift towards large families became important for division of labor reasons. At this point, birth control was not an issue because, economically, more children meant more workers (Gordon, 37-38).
Unfortunately, early forms of birth control were largely the products of old wives tales and meticulous timing; they were not terrible effective. As a result, the desire to terminate pregnancies arose. According to Josephine, induced termination of pregnancy, otherwise known as abortion, has been practiced since the time of the early Greeks and recorded in historical documents. (Josephine, 18) Undeniably, abortion is an old societal issue.
The legality of abortion, however, is a different story. Abortion in any form was not legal in the United Kingdom in the 1800s (Josephine, 19). The Infant Life Preservation Act of 1929 was passed in May of that year, intending to protect children’s rights to life. It did have one small provision, though. It allowed a doctor to decide if the pregnant woman’s health were in danger. If it were, then the abortion could be performed (Herring, 161).
In the United States, the issue of abortion has fallen, somewhat, along party lines. George W. Bush has zealously declared that he will legislatively block any attempt at partial-birth abortion, and, now that the Republicans are in congressional and judicial control, the leanings toward limiting abortions has worried pro-choice advocates there (Herring, 182). An important issue such as the right of abortion is standing a sad case on the political peripheral zone. It should dealt with logical common sense and not translate it into a political agenda. Then, it can well be mentioned that most of our logical conclusions come from political doctrines.
Reproductive rights have come a long way, but still have a long way to go. Birth control and abortion are debates that have ravaged the moral, social, and political spectrum of many countries and the women who live there.
Violence, hatred and bloodshed punctuate this battle. Along with advancing medicine and technology came newer reproductive issues surrounding surrogacy and the use of aborted or abandoned embryos for stem cell research.
Newer and newer issues can arise at any time. All of these stem from early discrimination of women and children. Solve rights conflicts abound and will perhaps never.
Intelligent and educated conversation in peaceful forums is necessary for this debate to continually safely and productively. One thing is, discrimination against women must end, and in ending discrimination, women will be able to declare their autonomy and fully exercise their rights as world citizens. (Lamb, 288-9)
However, in the conclusion, it could be mentioned from the point of view of a young woman that is abortion is regarded as an evil by the church or the state then it should be mentioned that it is a necessary evil and it there should be full support for the act from the point of view of both law and moral as denying it would mean the denial of individual right and discrimination of women’s rights. Therefore, there should be a right for abortion, and it is justified on the logical ground.
Gordon, Linda; The Moral Property of Women: A History of Birth Control Politics in America; New York, Penguin Publishing; 1990.
Josephine, Sahaya; Abortion: A public health issue; Student BMJ; 2002.
Herring, Mark; The Pro-Life/Choice Debate. London, Greenhaven Press, 2003.
Lamb, Davis; Cult to Culture: The Development of Civilization; Wellington: National Book Trust; 2004.