Worldview Analysis Essay:
Legislation: Abortion Rights, Roe vs. Wade
Public Policy Analysis
Spring 2015 – Session B
The piece of legislation chosen for this essay is Abortion law. More specifically, the Roe vs Wade decision on January 22, 1973. The decision of the United States Supreme Court to legalize, in all 50 states, abortion based on the 14th Amendment. This precedent or common law declares that it is a woman’s right to decide to have an abortion. Although this decision was rendered more than 40 years ago, it is an ongoing debate to which extent or limitations should apply to a legal abortion.
According to an article by Ely (1973), the premise or argument for the decision is as follows:
- The right to a privacy, which is protected by the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
- “This right is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy,” (p. 920).
- This right to an abortion is fundamental and can only be regulated on the basis of compelling state interest.
- “The state does have two ‘important and legitimate’ interests here, the first is protecting maternal health, the second in, protecting the life (or potential life) of the fetus. But neither can be counted ‘compelling’ throughout the entire pregnancy: each matures with the unborn child” (p. 920).
The main principle or belief of abortion law is the women’s right to choose. The history of abortion in this country is more complex than most people know. Unfortunately, this very debate has been going on for centuries. As mentioned, the basis for this conclusion is a woman’s right to privacy; both the 9th and 14th amendment extends this right to abortion according to the law. It would be unconstitutional to deny a woman the freedom to make such a difficult decision.
The activity presentation, in the course content, defines worldview as “the intellectual, emotional and even spiritual framework by which we apprehend reality and assign meaning to life.” There are three major worldviews: Biblical, Modernism and Post Modernism. Each view has shaped the politics and government within the United States. Understanding the characteristics of postmodern or postmodernism, it would be best to state that abortion laws fit best within the postmodern worldview.
It is hard to define postmodernism, because the definition would disrupt the premise of no definite terms, borders or absolute truths exist. Ironically, postmodernism is an extension of the Marxism. Critical theory, feminism, multicultural and queer theory are all deeper assessments of inequality of power and its distribution (MacKinnon, 1982). Pro-abortion reform relinquishes the control of the powerful or rich and gives the power back to the individual, which in this case is the woman. Postmodernism considers the United States claims of freedom and prosperity to be nothing more than empty promises which do not meet the needs of humanity.
There are studies and research that shows a negative impact on society as a whole if abortion is made illegal. There is a health element as well as societal deficiency if the legislation was reversed. The goal of the law is to protect the woman’s right to privacy. Ideally, through education and support programs there will be a reduction in the amount of abortions each year. It is important that “abortion laws have evolved through courts and human rights tribunals around the world interpreting human rights to recognize…women’s rights of access to abortion services and information” (Cook & Dickens, 2003, p. 5). It is important that “the statute requires providers to impart some information verbally to women seeking an abortion” (Gold & Nash, 2007).
Cook, R. J., & Dickens, B. M. (2003). Human rights dynamics of abortion law reform. Human
Rights Quarterly, 25(1), 1-59.
Ely, J. H. (1973). The wages of crying wolf: A comment on Roe v. Wade. Yale Law Journal,
Gold, R. B., & Nash, E. (2007). State abortion counseling policies and the fundamental
principles of informed consent. Guttmacher Policy Review, 10(4), 6-13.
MacKinnon, C. A. (1982). Feminism, Marxism, method, and the state: An agenda for theory.
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