The United States Supreme Court had decided in Roe v. Wade that “state criminal abortion laws … that except from criminality only a life-saving procedure on the mother’s behalf without regard to the stage of her pregnancy and other interests involved violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which protects against state action the right to privacy.” However, the United States Supreme Court had also decided in Roe v. Wade that “The privacy right involved, therefore, cannot be said to be absolute. In fact, it is not clear to us that the claim asserted by some amici that one has an unlimited right to do with one’s body as one pleases bears a close relationship to the right of privacy previously articulated in the Court’s decisions. The Court has refused to recognize an unlimited right of this kind in the past.” In addition, the United States Supreme Court also “conclude[d] that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified, and must be considered against important state interests in regulation,” decided that “the pregnant woman cannot be isolated in her privacy,” and also ruled that “the woman’s privacy is no longer sole and any right of privacy she possesses must be measured accordingly” in the Roe v. Wade case. Furthermore, the United States Supreme Court also ruled in Doe v. Bolton, the companion case to Roe v. Wade, that “if the right of privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child.”
While the United States Supreme Court arrived at the conclusion that laws that prohibit abortion were unconstitutional under the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment on the grounds that the prohibition of abortion impermissibly violates a pregnant woman’s right to privacy, the fact that a pregnant woman has a right to privacy should not have been sufficient to render laws that prohibit abortion unconstitutional because a pregnant woman does not have an absolute right to privacy and also because “governmental intrusion” involving a decision to undergo an abortion is not necessarily “unwarranted” because an abortion by its very nature involves the killing of an unborn human being. In addition, there are acts that are still illegal to commit in the privacy of one’s own home or in other places where there is an expectation of privacy, including but not limited to murder, assault, child abuse, identity theft, wire fraud, mail fraud, incest, rape, statutory rape, the sexual abuse of a minor, illegal sexual relations between a teacher and a student, the possession of child pornography, the production of child pornography, the illegal possession of controlled substances, and the abuse of controlled substances, and the laws prohibiting these acts are not unconstitutional on the grounds that a person has a right to privacy or on the grounds that these acts are committed in places where there is an expectation of privacy. Furthermore, even though a woman generally has a legal right to abortion and contraception in the United States, the law still imposes restrictions on a woman’s right to decide on “whether to bear or beget a child” because a woman cannot legally choose to engage in sexual intercourse with an underage boy and because a woman cannot legally choose to engage in sexual intercourse with closely related individuals such as her brother, her father, or her son.
In the Roe v. Wade ruling, the United States Supreme Court decided that “for the stage subsequent to viability the State, in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life, may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.” However, the United States Supreme Court also effectively legalized abortion-on-demand in Doe v. Bolton, the companion case to Roe v. Wade, by broadly defining “health of the mother” as “all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age — relevant to the wellbeing of the [mother],” and Justice William Douglas will also state in his concurring opinion of Doe v. Bolton that “the right to privacy” encompasses “the right to care for one’s health.” Furthermore, even though the United States Supreme Court required that abortions that are “necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the health of the mother” be legal during all nine months of pregnancy, the definition of health is not contained within the text of the United States Constitution, and the text of the United States Constitution does not make any kind of distinction between abortions that are not needed for the preservation of the health of the mother and abortions that are necessary for the preservation of the health of the mother, at least with respect to abortions that are not essential to preventing the death of the mother. Finally, the legitimate governmental interests that justify prohibiting abortion after viability are compelling enough to even justify prohibiting abortions that are deemed necessary for the preservation of the life or health of the mother, including governmental interests that were not acknowledged during the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton cases.
The Roe v. Wade decision should be reversed, even if some people are opposed to its reversal, for several reasons. First, the government has a compelling interest in protecting both the life of an unborn child and the health of the mother during all nine months of pregnancy, and this compelling interest has even been acknowledged by the United States Supreme Court in the final ruling of the Planned Parenthood v. Casey case. Second, human life has already begun at the stages of pregnancy at which abortions are performed because human life begins at the moment of conception, and this fact is supported by both objective scientific fact and legal precedent. Third, our founding fathers clearly intended for the right to life to extend to unborn human beings, despite the fact that this right had been taken away from unborn children as a result of the Roe v. Wade decision, and the 14th Amendment was not intended to affect laws that prohibit abortion. Fourth, the fact that a woman has a right to privacy does not necessarily imply that a pregnant woman must have a right to an abortion because a woman does not have an absolute right to privacy and because a woman’s own privacy is not the only thing at stake in an decision to undergo an abortion. Fifth, the United States Supreme Court relied on false statements made by Sarah Weddington (the attorney representing plaintiff Norma McCorvey in Roe v. Wade) and Margie Pitts Hames (the attorney representing plaintiff Sandra Cano in Doe v. Bolton) in order to arrive at its conclusions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. Sixth, many issues have arisen since the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton cases that necessitate revisiting these two decisions, including but not limited to the dangers of abortion procedures to the lives and to the health of the women who undergo abortions and the danger of irreversible harm to babies who have survived failed abortions. Finally, the reversal of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton will allow states to enact laws that protect the right to life of unborn children, which is an unalienable right that should never have been taken away from unborn children.