Tuesday, 27 October 2015

The Conflict of Liberties: Abortion

An Americans right to an abortion was ensured following the Supreme Courts decision in Roe Vs. Wade (1973) that abortions were covered by the right to privacy, under the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment.

Since then, many states have put into effect laws that make it increasingly difficult to access an Abortion, despite it being both legal and a right. This includes Parental Notification, Spousal Notification, and Spousal Consent Laws, which reduce a woman's right of privacy. An extreme example of this is Mississippi, which has been attempting to make abortion infeasible without having to overturn Roe Vs. Wade. However, this is being challenged in federal courts.

The argument over abortions is also a deeply religious one. 'Religion largely determines the politics of abortion, too. White evangelical Christians are much more likely that any other group to say they'd vote against a political candidate because he or she supported abortion.' 75% of white evangelical Christians believe abortion to be morally wrong, compared unaffiliated Americans, of which only 25% believe the same.  The First Amendment states that: 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.' Despite this, many pro-life laws are created in the United States in response to many lawmakers strong christian beliefs. This could be an example of a breach of the First Amendment as Jewish law permits and views abortion as necessary in some cases. Through the banning/blocking of abortion Jewish beliefs may be infringed upon.

The founding principles of the United States included that of religious freedom. This is a prime example of how many Americans are subject to a Christian belief system, despite having the right to refrain from religious exercise, or the right to belong to a different religion. This fundamentally goes against what the founding principles of the United States were created to achieve, freedom.

The right to privacy 'is not mentioned in the Constitution, but the Supreme Court has said that several of the amendments create this right.' This shows that despite not being a founding principle, the right to privacy is a core American liberty. Which, due to government interference and the right of religious freedom, is also now being infringed upon.

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