Seeds: While abortion has been practiced for millenia, it has been outlawed in many countries for hundreds of years. State anti-abortion laws have been in place in the United States since its inception, but some states never outlawed the practice, just restricted it. In 1973, along with a major feminist movement, came an extremely famous Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade. This case protected a woman’s right to choose until the third trimester. Later, in 1992, in court case Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey the third trimester framework was overturned, instead stating that abortions could be performed until fetal viability, and the case ruled that abortions could be performed until the baby was, “potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid.”
Core: Since these landmark cases, there have been over a dozen Supreme Court cases about the legality of abortion, or specific mandates about when and how an abortion can be performed. Some states have taken to restricting abortion under their own laws, most notably, Texas. This has snowballed into a nationwide movement to not only ban abortion, but also to defund Planned Parenthood, a center that specializes in many aspects of reproductive health, not just abortion. Likewise, there is a surge of pro-choice citizens. This issue is clearly divisive, quickly becoming another debate that separates the GOP and the Democrats, its members often being pro-life and pro-choice respectively.
Skin: Women’s reproductive rights are quickly coming to the forefront of American thought for a multitude of reasons. For one, they are a hot topic of debate amongst the presidential candidates. Also, on Wednesday, March 2, the Supreme Court will see a case from Texas that reduced the number of abortion clinics in the state significantly, and installed restrictions on when the abortion can take place, the clinic itself, and the doctors who can perform them. Essentially, Texas is trying to make it really, really hard to get an abortion.
Leaves: Some are suggesting the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia may affect the outcome of this case. He was a fierce advocate for pro-life policies, and without his voice, the case may lend itself to more liberal positions. Thus, the Texas Bill may be deemed unconstitutional.
Food For Thought: Do you think abortion is moral? Do you think that some states infringe on a woman’s right to choose?