Challenges to Roe v. Wade - women's right to privacy?

Essay by LelikoUniversity, Master'sA-, March 2004

download word file, 13 pages 5.0 1 reviews

Challenges to Roe v. Wade - women's right to privacy?

We want abortion, so we will no longer have to have abortions.

Second-Wave Women's Movement, Italy

Thirty years have passed since the Supreme Court of United States stated its opinion in the Roe v. Wade case, which later became known as the landmark case that legalized abortion in the U.S. The Court held that a woman's right to an abortion falls within the right to privacy protected by the 14th Amendment (Amendment XIV), and this right is "broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy" (Roe v. Wade, 1973). However, irrational as it may seem, the following years have brought new challenges towards women's constitutional right to privacy, introducing restrictions which would likely lead to complete ban to abortion. The most recent - and the most threatening for abortion advocates - is the so-called "Partial-Birth Abortion Ban", signed into law by US George W.

Bush on November 5, 2003 . By doing so he put Roe v. Wade indeed in danger of reversal, which as a matter of fact is now just a step away. With a brief discussion of the most important legal cases challenging women's right to abortion through their right to privacy (both in the explicit or implicit way) that preceded or followed the Roe v. Wade case, I would like to show how woman's right to privacy was reflected in court cases and the challenges the partial-abortion ban imposes on the women's constitutional right to privacy.

According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, "reproductive rights, the foundation for women's self-determination over their bodies and sexual lives, are critical to women's equality. [...] Laws and policies that protect and advance these rights are essential, and there is no legal decision more...