Abortion Essay

1549 words - 6 pages

Over the last thirty years, abortion policies have been the most controversial of all political and legal issues in the United States. Each state has its own laws and regulations concerning abortion. These laws mainly refer to the conditions in which abortion is legal, the requirements for minors who make the decision of having an abortion, and the government's funding for people having an abortion. The United States government has played a more dominant role in the legalization of abortion for the past thirty years. The rules and regulations enacted by the government have tried to bring a common understanding of the topic to people all over the United States. Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy, resulting in the death of a fetus. Abortions that are induced because of an unwanted pregnancy or a risk to a woman's health have been a very controversial subject in the past thirty years. The government's decisions on abortion have sometimes created violent opposing sides. Mainly in the area of a clinic or places where abortions are induced. (Grolier Encyclopedia) The legalization of abortion began in 1966. The state of Mississippi passed a law allowing abortion in case of rape. In the years that followed, other states adopted the idea of abortion and made a few more exceptions to the law. Other states decided it was acceptable to have an abortion if the pregnancy put the mother at a health risk, or in cases of incest. In 1973, the Supreme Court decided two cases involving abortion, Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton. These cases legalized abortions for any reason before the twenty-fourth week of pregnancy, and if the pregnancy put a serious health risk on the mother after the 24th week. In 1976, the Supreme Court recognized the right to pregnant girls under the age of eighteen, known as mature minors, to have abortions. Three years later, the courts decided that they should require the permission of one parent of the minor who wishes to have an abortion. If the minor wishes to keep it confidential and not let her parents know about it, she can go before the court system and let them decide what would be in her best interest. Ever since the decisions made by the court, many states have enforced parental consent laws. Some of these laws have been challenged in many states. For example, in 1990, the Supreme Court held a trial named Hodysen vs. Minnesota. The court held up a law requiring that prior notice must be given to both parents of a minor before she went through an abortion. The same thing happened in Ohio when a court held up the consent of one parent who's child was going to have an abortion. (Grolier Encyclopedia) States impose restrictions on abortion that regulate who pays for the procedure, where abortions are performed, and what kind of information will be provided for women having an abortion. In 1977, the Supreme Court allowed states to regulate and limit the use of Medicaid for payment on elective...

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