Abortion

Unapologetically Pro-Choice

Abortion boils down to a simple right to privacy to protect a bodily autonomy and the right for an individual to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy.​

Legislatures have banned abortion as early as 15-weeks into gestation and have created undue burdens on mothers that require intrusive medical procedures, waiting periods, and massive counseling before an abortion is allowed.  Many Americans cannot afford time off from work for the procedure.  Many women do not even know they are pregnant at 15-weeks.  These time windows and bans do nothing but hinder the ability to exercise a constitutional right without massive state interference.

What pro-birth advocates fail to notice is that these bans ignore the majority of abortions.  92.7% of abortions occur within the first 13 weeks of gestation.  The remaining 6.2% occur between 14 and 20 weeks.  Less than 1% occur after 21 weeks,[1] and as Doctor Warren Hern of Colorado stated in an interview with NPR: "These are tragic situations, and there’s a tremendous sense of pain and loss and anguish for the woman and their family to end the pregnancy.  So this is not something they want to do.  They want to have a baby; they don’t want to have an abortion." [2]  So if these bans target the most vulnerable people, those in later trimesters who must make impossible decisions, then the only proper conclusion we can draw is that the legislatures are fear mongering and target our most vulnerable.  That is unacceptable to me, and most Americans.  

It's time to set the record straight in Jefferson City and Washington, DC.  Most American's support Abortion, and we are tired of politicians restricting reproductive rights and harming the most vulnerable of our population.

[1] Data and Statistics - Reproductive Health | CDC

[2] Abortion In The Third Trimester: A Rare Decision Now In The Political Spotlight : NPR

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A Fundamental Right

The fundamental right to bodily autonomy must be protected with the highest level of scrutiny by our courts. 

 

Whether its the right to free speech or the right to the freedom of religion under the First Amendment or its the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, or its the right to privacy, fundamental constitutional rights require that any government attempt to regulate or restrict the right be met with a “strict scrutiny” review requiring the government to demonstrate that such a restriction is necessary and is narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest.  Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 871 (1992).  The Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade and its successor Planned Parenthood v. Casey stated that the right to abortion was included in “the right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy” that exist under the Constitution.  Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 152 (1973).  The right to personal privacy is found in the “penumbras of the bill of rights,” in the Ninth Amendment, “or in the concept of liberty guaranteed by the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment.”  Id. at 152-53.  This foundational right to privacy also includes the protections of the rights to marriage, to procreation, to contraception, to family relationships, and child rearing. Id.  Modern law has expanded to include protection of same sex marriage.  See Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644 (2015).  

 

So what does strict scrutiny mean?  If the fundamental Constitutional right is to be restricted, then the government has the duty to demonstrate 1) a compelling interest, 2) the restriction is necessary, and 3) that the restriction is narrowly tailored to serve that need. 

Law Building
Judge and Gavel

Strict Scrutiny During the
Roe v. Wade era

The Supreme Court held in Roe v. Wade that the state had compelling interests in both the mother and the fetus that may become a child.  Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 164-65 (1973).  Planned Parenthood further expressed that the state’s interest was not restricted by the trimester framework, but that the compelling interest in the fetus increased after the point of viability, but not to the exclusion of the life and health of the mother.  Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 846 (1992). This ruling allowed states to create restrictions that did not create an undue burden on the mother’s right to decide to terminate an abortion until the point of viability, and after the point of viability, the state could not restrict a mother’s right to choose to abort the pregnancy unless her life and health became threatened.  Id

Where Are We Now?

Without the fundamental privacy protections of bodily autonomy and reproductive rights under Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, bodily autonomy is now subject to a new and unclear realm based on the wishes of an ultra-conservative Supreme Court.  To be clear, bodily autonomy also includes such things as regulating vaccinations or requiring or denying access to medical treatments.  Stare Decisis literally means “to stand by things decided” and it ensures that the rulings of the Supreme Court are lasting unless exceptionally reasoning exists to overturn the ruling.  Even a well reasoned ruling can result in chaos, and that is where we stand on this issue today, unless we make a change and codify the the structure found under Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

A Better Tomorrow