The constitutional amendments and the court rulings among the American institutions in matters regarding abortion have led to multiple reactions among the people on the stance of the government. The restrictive aspects of the abortion policy define the nature by which the people regard the abortion policies. The Obama health care bill provides for only elective abortion meaning not all the people with an insurance cover can undertake abortion. Court rulings have not left the issue to chance as with a number of cases having no favor for abortion. The most notable decision was in the case of Roe vs. Wade in the Supreme Court (Higgins & Dellapenna, 2013, p.9). This paper analyzes how abortion tells about the nature and state of policies and government in the United States of America with keen attention to the case of Roe vs. Wade in the Supreme Court.
The abortion laws reveal that the American way of policies is circumstantial and evidence based. The provision of the government on abortion was that it is illegal and could only be undertaken under a doctor’s recommendation. This led to many women groups’ claims that the women were undertaking the act in the black market. However, the case of Roe vs. Wade exposed the circumstantial nature of the policy. After the case in which Jane Roe challenged the law in a Texas court, the court considered the circumstances under which she laid her claims and made its ruling. Invalidating the Texas law by a 7-2 vote just made the way for the case to go to the highest court on the land (Keown 2012, p. 106). However, the decision would only stand if the abortion were in line with the 14th amendment provisions that are, protecting the prenatal life and the woman’s health.
The history of constitutional amendments and court rulings on the matter affirms the circumstantial nature of the American. The question of who an American is in the face of the amendments lies in the weight of evidence relayed by different parties in their case decisions. The provisions of the ninth amendment in the American constitution, which set the pace for abolishment of abortion unless the life of the mother was in danger, relied mainly on the legal merits of a case. Legal merits in a case are the points that make the case superior to others, which may eventually affect the case. The legal merits in the case of Roe vs. Wade led to the decision favoring the latter due to the legal merits she had on her side.
Abortion reveals that the American way of policies is citizen centered and opinion involving. Making the laws and case decision is not unitarily dependent on the evidence provided in the case. The views and opinions of the people count in the decisions. In the Obama’s health care bill, the opinion of the people count as one can only undertake abortion in ‘special cases’. The court defines special cases as those that lie within the exceptions of the law. The case of Roe vs. Wade showed the same spirit as the opinion and discretion of Jane Roe counted in the decision of the case and setting the precedence to abortion cases. The ruling disallowed state law restrictions on abortion in the interest of the citizens in the country.
According to the ninth amendment, every citizen in the United States of America had a right to privacy (Forero-Nino 2012, p. 235). However, the definition and extent of the privacy was vague with no clear demarcation of when this ceased to hold. In the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Roe vs. Wade, the court affirmed that abortion was part of the privacy provided for in the constitution. The welfare of the citizen was the driving point in the decision. Most of the women in the state opted for illegal abortion through the black market especially after their attempts to fake rape failed. However, in its decision, the Supreme Court affirmed that this would protect the mothers from some effects of illegal abortions and at the same time secure the unborn children.
The abortion cases in the United States of America reveal the American way of policies and government as restrictive in some areas. In the case, Roe obtained the required lift on the abortion restriction in the country. The court would permit the women to undertake abortion under cases that allowed for such in order to lower the black market cases. However, this did not mean making the act expressly legal. This meant removing the unnecessary barriers for the women who were eligible for it. In the ruling, the court decided that the decision would stand subject to the state regulation on the trimester of pregnancy. By this decision, the court rejected the trimester arrangement presented by Roe where a woman would be eligible for abortion until viability. Roe affirmed that viability meant the time when the unborn was capable of life outside the womb through artificial means. She argued that this would even be 24 weeks and not 28 weeks as legally stated.
The restrictions in the laws and legal provisions in the United States of America expose the answers to what an American is. Most of the amendments frame an American legal system that favored the citizens while restricting the favor in some areas. The American policies and government styles favor the needs of the citizens, with the historical backing held for the same. On the companion case of Doe vs. Bolton, Douglas stated categorically that the ninth amendment did not create any grounds for legally enforceable rights (Forero-Nino 2012, p. 235). However, he stated that, in case the amendment affected a social or health aspect that would otherwise endanger or threaten the life of an American citizen, the fair determination of the court would grant the case the desired decision. This shows the ultimate nature of the American policy decisions and government in protecting the right of the people.
Abortion reveals the American way of policies and government as progressive and continual. The progressive nature of policies and government require that while making a decision in one case the institution relies on past cases and in some cases, the institution overrule them first. The tussle in the abortion cases in the United States of America was an end of a long struggle for the legalization of abortion vs. its abolishment. The United States constitution considers unwarranted abortion as a crime in the common law. However, the law does not specify the implications and extent of the term unwarranted. In the case of Roe vs. Wade in the Supreme Court, the court relied on precedents that declared abortion criminal and the restrictive nature of the precedents. Progressively, some cases decided in Texas and other states provided the ground for the case as the case removed some of the restrictions as a corrective measure.
Article III of the United States constitution prohibits abortion except when protecting the life of the mother. This means that, in the interest of the supremacy of the constitution, any other law did not prevail over the provision. However, in 1911, Justice Joseph McKenna coined a phrase in the policy and legal system that would alter this in case any continuity was attached to it. Quoted by Blackmun, McKenna asserted that when the constitution did not care for the prevailing conditions, the court rulings would surpass it. It is on this ground that the case of Roe vs. Wade in the Supreme Court based its argument (Saad 2013, p. 4). As much as the constitution stated expressly that abortion amounted to a crime in the common law courts, it did not take care of the prevailing conditions in Roe’s case. However, the extent of the removal and alteration of the constitutional provisions provided a topic for debate throughout, with the whole country dividing into pro-life and abortion supporters.
The abortion cases in the United States of America reveal the American way of policy and government as divergent as opposed to convergent policies and government. Henry Wade, the district attorney of the Dallas county, set the law the prohibited all manners of abortion except when the life of the mother was in danger. The set-up of this law affected the whole Texas state for a while and soon it spread to all parts of America. An American divergent policy and government started as laws came from an epicenter setting to spread to the rest of the country. Similarly, the case of Roe vs. Wade in the Supreme Court had the same effect. The ruling allowed abortion during the entire pregnancy but the state would regulate it during the second and third trimesters. However, due to the divergent nature of the law, the ruling affected laws in 46 states in the country, which had to adopt similar measures in the abortion provisions.
Abortion cases in the United States of America reveal that the governance and way of policies is strategic and intended at fairness. Abortion was the thorniest issue in the preparation of the Barack Obama health care bill. The decision in the case of Roe vs. Wade in the Supreme Court to allow abortion throughout the pregnancy of a woman complicated the issue for the government (Saad 2013, p.4). Initially, the law did not permit this hence; the government was compelled to allocate some emergency funds for the same. The emergency cases, since the Hyde amendment in 1976, referred to unprecedented cases like rape, incest, and danger to the life of a mother. However, guided by the same amendment, no public money would further be allocated to dealing with the rape cases in the country. Most people termed the bill as allotment based, allocating funds to different areas in the health sector. However, in the Barack Obama health care bill, the government notably allocated $1 abortions for all persons involved in an insurance cover that provided for selective abortion. However, this bill intended to treat the citizens with such insurance to utmost fairness from the government.
Abortion cases and constitutional provisions have a history among the American people. The ninth amendment provides that every American citizen has right to privacy. According to some people, abortion is one of the elements in the privacy of the women. The abortion situation capitalized on this in the case of Roe vs. Wade in the Supreme Court establishing some of the features of the American policy and government ways. The history of the abortion cases played a major role in the decision made in the case of Planned Parenthood vs. Casey in 1992 (McCorvey & Pavone 2013, p. 17).
The American policy and government ways have a number of features. The system is circumstantial and evidence based. It relies of the evidence that a party gives in a case to make a ruling in that particular case. The system is also progressive as the precedents set in previous cases affect the current cases in a way. The policy system is also citizen centered and opinion involving. The citizens have their voice in all decisions made by the legal and government bodies. However, the policy and government way in the United States of America is restrictive. As much as the people have their say in the legal issues, they are barred by some provisions, which they must adhere to them. The American way of policies and government is revolutionary and intended at fairness to the citizens. At the same time, for the sake of the uniformity in the American laws, the policy system is divergent. A decision that starts in one state is likely to affect all the other states due to the divergent nature of the legal system.
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Higgins, M, & Dellapenna, J 2013, Roe V. Wade : Abortion And A Woman's Right To Privacy, Minneapolis, MN: ABDO Pub, Discovery eBooks
Keown, J 2012, Back To The Future Of Abortion Law: Roe’S Rejection Of America’S History And Legal Traditions, n.p.: Oxford University Press, Oxford Scholarship Online
McCorvey, N, & Pavone, F 2013, The Plaintiff From Roe V. Wade Explains Her Conversion Against Abortion, n.p.: Gale Virtual Reference Library
Saad, L 2013, 'Majority of Americans Still Support Roe v. Wade Decision', Gallup Poll Briefing, p. 4, Business Source Complete