Abortion: A Nation Divided

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate December 2001

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1 Abortion: A Nation Divided Abortion, which means deliberately killing a developing human embryo, is a choice for death, no matter how you look at it. This choice is one that has been both condemned and defended for millennia (Dworkin 3). The war between anti-abortion groups and their opponents is America's new version of the seventeenth century European civil wars of religion (Dworkin 4). You would think that one look at the history of America would have taught our country that there is no clear-cut solution to the problem, yet America seems unable to learn, much less act, on that lesson (Rosenblast 7).

The war over abortion seems fiercer and more violent in America than anywhere else. Opposing groups march down streets or pack themselves into protests at abortion clinics, courthouses, and the White House, screaming at, spitting on, and loathing one another (Dworkin 4). Abortion is tearing America apart by distorting its politics and confounding the constitutional law.

Many commentators insist that the major cause of the confrontational nature of the abortion controversy is the way that the law on abortion was created.

In the United States, the law was imposed by the Supreme Court. Under the Constitution, the Court has the power to rule that laws adopted by Congress or by any state are unconstitutional. Once the Supreme Court has spoken, no branch of government can overrule its decision, no matter how great a majority oppose it. However, a Supreme Court decision can be reversed by amending the Constitution explicitly to give legislators power. The only other way would be to have new justices appointed and have a new Court overrule its past decision.

Another theory on why America is being torn apart is the ambivalence toward religion. Though American law insists on a formal separation between church...