Abortion Essay

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Research Paper for GOVT 2301.001 Spring 2013, Topic #21 There are three unalienable rights defined in the Declaration of Independence and they are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A woman’s right to have an abortion falls under all three of those unalienable rights. An abortion is the ending of a pregnancy before the child is born. People who are against abortions would say that having an abortion is murder but people, such as me, who are for abortions would argue that you cannot murder something that is not already alive. For years scholars have argued whether or not the constitution allows states to place restrictions on abortion. Abortion is a fundamental right guaranteed under the constitution. Thus, the United States government must invalidate all state-level restrictions on pregnancy choice. There have been a number of cases against the ban on abortions and the precedent case so far is the Roe versus Wade case. In the case of Roe v. Wade, the answer boils down to one of personal rights versus legitimate government interests. The government has a legitimate interest in protecting the life of an embryo or fetus, but embryos and fetuses do not have rights themselves unless and until it can be determined that they are human persons. Women are, obviously, known human persons. They make up the majority of known human persons. Human persons have rights that an embryo or fetus does not have until its personhood can be established. For various reasons, the personhood of a fetus is generally understood to commence between 22 and 24 weeks. This is the point, at which the neocortex develops, and it is also the earliest known point of viability--the point at which a fetus can be taken from the womb and, given the proper medical care, still have a meaningful chance of long-term survival. The government has a legitimate interest in protecting the

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