The Black Womanís Voice, http://www.prolife.org/ultimate/up110.html,
This is a brief article excerpting prominent black women who support
the pro-choice movement. The article focuses on 2 main points that are
very relevant to minority communities. First, the article reports that
since 1973, 10 million black babies have been aborted; the result
is that Black Americas population is currently 35% smaller and weaker than
it could have been had those babies been born, The analogy is that abortion
is a form of genocide. The second major point the article makes is that
abortion agencies and supporters (Planned Parenthood, NOW, etc.) position
themselves within the African American community and/or on the side of
the African American community and as a result the racially motivated goals
of extermination are more easily fulfilled. All pages read, article contains
Anita L. Allen, The Proposed Equal Protection
Fix For Law: Reflections On Citizenship, Gender, And The Constitution,
18 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 419 (Spring 1995).
This article focuses on abortion through the two legal issues of equal
protection and privacy. The author contends that abortion restrictions
have a disparate impact on poorer and minority women. Allen continues that
early advocates for Roe initially tried to argue a lack of equal
protection, largely for minorities, if abortions were legally banned. The
Supreme Court, however, chose not to focus on that aspect of the argument
in deciding Roe; instead focusing on womenís right to privacy.
As the Supreme Court, consisting of only one woman, and the Congress,
consisting of only a small percentage of women, become more and more conservative,
women must become very watchful of their rights. Allen seems to believe
that women in general, and especially minority women, will lose their Ďuniqueí
reproductive rights if the white-male dominated institutions are able to
operate unchecked in their push for abortion restriction. Pages 435-445
read, this article contains no bibliography.
David Robert Baron, The Racially
Disparate Impact of Restrictions On The Public Funding of Abortion: An
Analysis of Current Equal Protection Doctrine, 13 Boston College Third
World Law Journal 1 (Winter 1993).
Baron writes a very insightful equal protection analysis of abortion.
Baronís article focuses on equal protection specifically through public
funding of abortion. The decisions to not publicly fund abortion (i.e.-
through Medicaid) has the impact of placing abortions out of reach for
many poor and minority women. The disparate impact of the law, however,
is unmoving to the Supreme Court. The abortion laws are facially neutral
and therefore a disparate "statistical" impact without direct evidence
of discriminating intent has little meaning or power.
Baron proposes an alternative to current equal protection analysis.
After Baronís keen explanation of the current equal protection analysis,
Baron offers the alternative "anti-subjugation principle." Baron posits
that this analysis looks more to the subjugate class than the intent or
non-intent of the law of institution. I think that Baronís argument and
analysis are very worthwhile and do genuinely add something not only to
the abortion argument but also to the reality of what equal protection
should uphold. All pages read, article contains no bibliography.
Mindy Belz, Abortion Imperialism,
World Magazine, Jan. 17, 1998 v.13 no.2.
This article traces the governmentís indirect support of abortion internationally,
through funding. Though laden with a pro-life underline, the author outlays
many facts that show the current administrationís attitude on abortion
versus the more conservative previous administrationsí attitudes. Belz
continues, that many non-profit, non-government organizations based here
in the U.S. and funded by federal grants are making it possible and probable
for the United Nations and the U.S. Agency for International Development
to promote abortion on poor refugees who may feel as if they have no options.
The article is very helpful in contributing valuable information to
the abortion debate. The article points out that the U.S. government does
play a role in shaping abortion attitudes domestically and abroad. Additionally,
as American organizations are federally funded and retain millions of dollars
for their efforts, these organizational beliefs are spread throughout the
states and affect lobbying, advertising, financing and ultimately our own
attitudes on abortion. All pages read, article contains no bibliography.
Melany Burrill, Role
of Religious Congregations In Fostering Adolescent Sexual Health,
RCRC, http://www.rcrc.org/pubs/speakout/adols.html, 12/14/98.
Melany Burrill holds a masterís degree in religious education and sees
it as a challenge for religion to give youth the information and tools
they need to make wise decisions about sexual health. According to Burrill,
there are four ways to accept the challenge to promote a healthy attitude
toward sex: 1) create an environment of openness and support; 2) teach
and practice critical thinking skills; 3) provide youth with tools and
resources; and 4) help face prejudices. The author believes openness and
communication are key to developing the right attitudes for youth. She
adds that ideally schools would teach the biological and physiological
information and religious faiths would provide the meaning and morals.
Ms. Burrillís assessment of adolescent attitudes toward health was very
worthwhile to this analysis. First, the attitude that adults have about
sex and sexual choices are clearly shaped by their youth. Secondly, religion
plays a role on some levels for most Americans in making decisions. Therefore,
to analyze the role of religion and adolescent attitudes is to gain insight
into adult motivation regarding choices. Furthermore, many minorities,
African American traditionally, cling to religion and therefore their habits
and motivations may logically be closely limited to the religious attitudes
and doctrines. All pages read, this article contains a bibliography.
This article traces Supreme Court cases concerning contraception, abortion
and procreation from the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut1
decision to the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey2
decision. Furthermore the article outlines the major legal issues involved
in the abortion debate. The legal issues include: right to privacy, substantive
due process, federalism, legal persons and some relevant standard of reviews:
compelling state interest, undue burden and rational basis.
The federal law has gone through many paradigm shifts. Prior to 1965
contraception could be disallowed, then by 1973 abortion were legalized
and in 1992 abortion came its closest ever to be overturned. What does
such shifts indicate for the future of abortion? This article does not
answer that question but in my mind, the article does indicate that the
political makeup of the Supreme Court will continue to play a large role
in how that question is answered. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 US
470 (1965); Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 US 833 (1992). All
pages read, article contains no bibliography.
Renee Esfandiary, The Changing World
Of Genetics And Abortion: Why the Womenís Movement Should Advocate For
Limitations On The Right to Choose In The Area Of Genetic Technology,
4 William & May J. Women L. 499 (Spring 1998).
There are a growing number of reproductive issues that affect or are
affected by abortion laws. This article discusses genetic testing and genetic
screening. The basic premise is that women and womenís organizations should
be at the forefront of advocating for limitations on genetic innovations
in order to preserve womenís autonomy.
One section of the article focuses on the public opinion on abortions
resulting from knowledge of genetic defects. According to the author, the
public (75-77% of Americans) accepts abortion when there are serious genetic
defects but that acceptance declines with the severity of the genetic defects.
This presents the question, How should abortion laws be shaped if most
of Americans favor abortions in some instances? Also the question must
be asked whether Congressí attitudes reflect the attitudes of the public?
All pages read, article contains no bibliography.
Edward M. Gaffney, Law And Theology:
A Dialogue On The Abortion Decisions, Jurist 33 (1973) pp. 134-52.
This article was written in response to the Roe decision that
had recently occurred, legalizing abortions. The author, a theologian,
comments on the morality of the decision according to religious science.
Religion continues to play a role in abortion attitudes twenty-five
years later. Gaffneyís article can be found in very similar context in
more recent writings as well. This article is particularly helpful in that
it gives insight into immediate Roe reactions. Pages 134-52 read,
article contains no bibliography.
Robert P. George, Public Reason and
Political Conflict: Abortion and Homosexuality, 106 Yale Law Journal
2475 (June 1997).
This article explores abortion and public reason. The author, an advocate
for life (over choice), gives a forum for and analyzes differing arguments
for abortion rights. The specific lens through which George evaluates abortion
is political liberalism.
Specifically, George applies Political Liberalism as perceived an written
about by author John Rawls. The Rawls approach, according to George, is
flawed and fails to provide substantive answers to abortion issues. George
goes on to contrast Rawls views with that of author Judith Jarvis Thomson
and ultimately concludes that both life advocates and choice advocates
have strong arguments that support reason and morality. Therefore, the
future may be best looked to as a compromise on abortion issues and not
a victory for either side. Pages 2486 to 2495 read, this article contains
Griswold v. Connecticut , 381 U.S.
This case struck down a Connecticut law that banned the distribution
and use of contraception. In the Supreme Court opinion Douglas stated the
"penumbra" principle that there are fundamental Constitutional rights beyond
those enumerated in the Constitution. The Court held that the Bill of Rights
and the Fourteenth Amendment contained unwritten rights..
This case is important to the history of abortion for multiple reasons.
First, the decision opened the door for abortion, a non-enumerated right
to be legalized eight years later in Roe v. Wade. Additionally,
this case was the first Supreme Court case in which the majority accepted
the right to privacy, also an underlying foundation for the legalization
of abortion. All pages read, case contains no bibliography.
of Abortion, http://www.lm.com/~jdehullu/abortion/abhist.htm, 12/14/98.
This article traces the historical and political evolution of Abortion
in America. According to Mohr abortions have been occurring since 1800.
Mohrís record traces an attitude towards abortion that ebbed and flowed.
During the early 1800ís there were no laws against abortion and common
law did not consider abortion a crime until a point called "quickening."
According to Mohr the determination of life was not until a motherís 4th
or 5th month when the fetus began detectable movement. Later in the middle
of the 19th century, abortion prior to fetal movement (quickening) became
a crime. The illegalization of abortion made the process less secretive
but did not eliminate it says Mohr. Then in the early and mid 20th century
did groups organize serious protest against anti-abortion laws which led
to Roe v. Wade.
Olasky, presents another historical and political evolution of abortion
as a response to Mohrís interpretation. Olaskyís interpretation, however,
presents stark differences from Mohrís. According to Olasky abortion was
not part of the mainstream culture and was not as accepted at anytime as
Mohrís portrayed. Also Olasky contends that abortions were only used by
an underclass of women. (i.e... prostitutes, women abandoned by men, etc.
All pages read, article contains no bibliography.
Michele Jackson, End
The Ignorance Now, Conservative News Service Opinion, http://www.conservativesnews,net/Opinion/archive/OPI19980901b.html,
This article is written by a black woman who is a member of the National
Right to Life Committee. The basic premise of the article is that most
African American do not realize that abortion is as great an epidemic to
the black community as drugs. Jackson purports that abortions have killed
nearly 12 million babies since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. She
also points out that many people donít see the abortion problem as clearly
as the drug problem. According to Jackson this is because most African
Americans have family members or close friends who are stricken by drugs
and its affect, however, most women who choose abortion do so in a lonely
silence that does not directly affect those around them as does drug addiction.
This distinction is the reason that black leaders rally against drugs and
its affects on the black community but often blatantly or even latently
I believe this is a very important article because it presents a less
common but real argument against abortion. The reality of abortion may
very well be that it is weakening the African American community by snatching
vital numbers and vital lives. However, there is nothing to prove that
more will necessarily prove the plight of the African American community.
All pages read, article contains no bibliography.
Bob Jones IV, One Step Forward,
World Magazine Jan 17, 1998 v.13 no.2.
The author, Bob Jones, paints a graphic picture of the abortion issue
that uses war imagery to send his anti-abortion message. The language of
the article and the explanation of tactics used by both pro-choice advocates
and pro-lifers definitely suggest Jones is an activist himself.
Even in the midst of the very high charged and loaded analogies, Jones
does an excellent job at outlining the many issues surrounding abortion.
Some of these issues include, Congress and the present and proposed legislation,
partial-birth abortion and new abortion techniques now available to women
at earlier stages. All pages read, article contains no bibliography.
Richard Lamm, Odyssey: From Abortion
to Sustainability, 75 Denver U.L. Rev. 669 (1998).
In this article, the author discusses how public policy can transform
from year to year and time to time. The author hits on a intriguing point,
"Yesterdayís inevitabilities become todayís public policy choices. As a
member of the Colorado State Legislature, the author has been approached
by numerous factions with differing opinions on the abortion issue. Through
his incumbency at the Colorado State Legislature he noticed that population
had an intimate relationship with the law.
In one particular situation members of the state of Denver successfully
opposed requirement that made them sponsors of the Olympics. The authorís
aim in this article is to alert the American public that a new political
movement is necessary to save the country or at least sustain it. All pages
read, article contains no bibliography.
Marianne Lavelle, When
Abortions Come Late In A Pregnancy, U.S. New Online, http://www.usnews.som/usnews/issue/980119/19late.htm,
One abortion issue gaining momentum in the public forum of debate is
partial birth abortions. According to the article, partial birth abortions
occur after 20 weeks-- when the mother can begin to feel the fetus move.
The article discusses the two primary process used for such abortion. Then
the article examines the moral implications of these procedures.
This article, unlike many others, does not have a strong leaning towards
or against abortion but it relays the facts of partial abortion according
to the clinics that perform the procedures. The somewhat graphic explanations
are disconcerting but shed light on what the process entails. Those who
are pro-abortion are faced with a "real challenge in justifying the morality"
of partial birth abortions but perhaps no more so than those who must justify
the morality of denying a womanís right to not have a child. The debate
continues. All pages read, article contains no bibliography.
Patrick Lee, Abortion & Unborn
Human Life, Catholic Univ. of America Press, 1996, pp. 105-130.
The author examines the issue of whether abortions may be justified
as a non-intentional killing. Primarily, Lee focuses on arguments put forth
by pro-abortion author Judith Jarvis Thomson. Thomson contends that both
the fetus has a right to life and a woman has a right to decide what happens
to her body. Thomson view is that a woman, by choosing abortion, chooses
not to offer her womb as a place for the fetus, and the ultimate side-effect
is death of the fetus. Thomson distinguishes this from the actual intentional
killing of the fetus.
Leeís purpose in this chapter of his book is more to introduce and explore
Thomsonís view than to critique it; at this, Lee does a thorough job. In
my own personal critique, I find Thomsonís argument to be unconvincing.
If one chooses to enter the debate, the issue is whether terminating a
pregnancy by aborting the fetus is legally, morally and socially acceptable?
The reality is that the fetus will no longer exist in any meaningful capacity
after the procedure and everyone knows this fact. Therefore, one enters
into an abortion to end the existence of the fetus that is to say their
intent is clear. In my opinion, Thomson is sidestepping the true issue
by arguing non-intent as a defense. Pages 105-130 read, this book does
contain a bibliography.
Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505
U.S. 833 (1992).
This case upheld a Pennsylvania statute placing restrictions on abortions.
These restrictions included a 24- hour waiting period, an informed consent
requirement, a parental consent provision for minors and a record keeping
requirement. The case also replaced the Roe strict scrutiny test
with an "undue burden" test and further held that the stateís interest
becomes compelling at an undetermined "viability."
Casey was a landmark case for many reasons. This case upheld
the very contested central holding of Roe to the delight of many
abortion advocates. However, the much more conservative Court than in Roe
did so in a close 5-4 vote and allowed for the numerous restrictions on
abortion. The ultimate conclusion of Casey is that abortionís stronghold
has gradually weakened in the last 25 years.
Vernellia R. Randall, Slavery, Segregation
and Racism: Trusting the Health Care System Ainít Always Easy! An African
American Perspective on Bioethics, 15 Saint Louis U. Public L. Rev.
This article examines the health care system from the perspective of
African Americans. One section of the article focuses on African Americaís
distrust of the American health care system with regards to bioethical
issues. Randall contends that the proliferation of abortion in the Black
community is deeper than the scope of traditional abortion debates in part
because of traditional history of racism and deception from the health
care industry towards African Americans.
This article raises an important fact that there are many social concerns
that affect the African American community that are often overlooked by
popular media. Shocking trends and statistics are often reported about
the Black community without regard to the unique circumstances and history
of the community. All pages read, article contains no bibliography.
Jamin B. Raskin, Roe v. Wade and
the Dred Scott Decisions: Justice Scaliaís Peculiar Analogy in Planned
Parenthood v. Casey, 1 American U. J. Gender & L. 61 (Spring 1993).
This article examines the meaning, reasoning and ramifications of Justice
Scaliaís analogy in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, (1992). Scaliaís
dissent analogizes the Dred Scott2
decision holding that African Americanís cannot be citizens of the U.S.
with the Casey case upholding abortion. The author feels that the
comparison is "fallacious" and largely a result of Scalia's strict textualist
approach and social tradition emphasis.
The author provides an extremely in depth analysis of Justice Scaliaís
view and more importantly Scaliaís method of Constitutional interpretation.
Raskin contends that Scaliaís logic is flawed and consistently fails to
consider the evolution in social tradition in analyzing 14th Amendment
liberties. The ultimate conclusion of the author is that African Americans
and womenís rights will continually be minimized or overlooked with Scalia
on the bench. All pages read, article contains no bibliography.
Lori Reed, Abortion Access, Sojourner:
The Womanís Forum, Vol. 20, No. 5 (Jan, 1995).
Reed posits that pro-choice advocatesí focus has shifted from
legal right to abortion, to access to abortions. According to Reed, lower
income women has less access to abortion for various reasons. Those reasons
include the unavailability of abortion clinics in some areas, the non-funding
of abortion by Medicaid and the mandatory waiting periods and other restrictions
which are financially costly to poorer women. (i.e.- taking of the job,
paying baby sitters, etc.)
This article clearly shows some of the issues that are unique to minorities
in dealing with abortion. It is beneficial to my research on abortion and
minorities because it recognizes the special needs and concerns of minorities
that make the abortion debate much more expansive than the traditional
pro-choice and pro-life delineation. All pages read, article contains no
Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).
This historical case struck down a Texas statute banning all
abortions except as required to save the mothers life. The Supreme Court
held that abortion is a constitutional right. The Court also held that
it had jurisdiction and acknowledged abortion as a right to privacy.
Roe v. Wade was a turning point for many Americans. The blurred
dividing lines of pro-abortion and anti-abortion began to come in focus
as Americans took their sides on the issue. Roe sparked and continues
to spark feverish debate even twenty-five years later. All pages read,
case contains no bibliography.
Helen Rose, Abortion Attitudes In
The United States: Continuities and Discontinuities, Perspectives on
Abortion, Scarecrow Press, NJ 1988. (edited by Paul Sachdev).
This article surveys the affect religion has on attitudes toward abortion.
The author found that Catholicsí views were most conservative and Jews
were most liberal. Protestant religions filled the gamut of attitudes in
between. Within the Protestant religions, Baptist, Lutheran and Methodist
were more conservative than Presbyterian and Episcopalians.
The impact that differing religions have on attitudes is especially
of great consequence in exploring minority women and abortion. Minority
women tend to believe strongly in religion. African Americans are largely
followers of Protestant religions and Hispanics largely practice Catholicism.
Does this mean that Hispanic women are necessarily more conservative on
the abortion issue than African American women or that minorities are less
likely to obtain abortions? Actually statistics do not support that at
all, but what it does mean is that religion is a factor that must be evaluated
in ascertaining attitudes of minority women. Pages 170-172 read, this article
contains a bibliography.
Julienne Rut Siano, A Womanís Rightís
Law Reporter, 19 Womenís Rights Law Reporter 279 (Spring 1998).
This article discusses the history of wrongful death statutes and the
legislative intent behind them. The intent of wrongful death statutes is
to allow personal relatives to sue for damages on behalf of a decedentís
relative for the wrongful death of the decedent. Primary to my research,
is the concentration of how wrongful death statutes that allow recovery
for nonviable fetuses affect abortion rights.
Opponents of wrongful death statutes believe that allowing a right to
recovery for nonviable fetuses takes away a womanís right to an abortion.
The author suggest that courts have routinely rejected wrongful death actions
for nonviable fetuses by incorrectly using Roeís reasoning that
an unborn child is not a person under the 14th Amendment.4
The author suggest that Roe is not analogous to a situation where
the state and mother have co-existing rights in preserving the life of
a fetus and punishing the tortfeasor. In conclusion the author states that
a woman should be compensated when a potential pregnancy is ended due to
anotherís negligence. I agree with the author that this is the only way
to compensate such a devastating loss. All pages read, article contains
Matthew H. Swyers, Abortion and its
Viability Standard: The Womanís Diminishing Right to Choose, 8 George
Mason U.Civ. Rights L. Journal (Winter-Summer 1997-1998).
This article traces the history and legislation of abortion and
more specifically the viability doctrine. The author includes the impact
of prenatal and post-natal care on the viability issue. According to the
author, the viability standard is an improper standard for determining
the legality of abortion. The author ultimately concludes that as technology
makes a babyís viability possible at earlier stages, eventually the test
will render all abortions illegal.
Swyers presents an interesting argument that if left unheeded may very
well change the legal face of abortion. The reality presented here and
that seems prevalent throughout my research is that the abortion issue
has to be revisited constantly from a legal, social and moral perspective.
All pages read, article contains no bibliography.
Steven Waldman, Abortions
in America, U.S. News Online, http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/980119/19abor.htm,
The author of this article takes a more intimate look at abortion
and focuses on the millions of women who have abortions a year but rarely
talk about it. According to the authors, 43% of all American women will
have an abortion during their lifetime. Abortion, posits the authors, has
become a common life experience but because of its personal nature is usually
only discussed as a political debate that often overlooks the women involved.
This article does an excellent job of making the abortion issue less
spectacular and brings the issue into everyoneís neighborhood. The fact
that almost half of all women will have an abortion forces the reader to
see abortion as a story about women and not just a hot topic. All pages
read, article contains no bibliography.
Webster v. Reproductive Health Services,
492 U.S. 490 (1989).
This case upheld a Missouri statute that declared human life begins
at conception and therefore disallowing the use of state property for abortions.
This was also significant in that it starkly contrasted with much of Roe
but did not overturn Roe.
This case was the first real departure from Roe and opened the
door for more restrictive state legislation on abortion. Ultimately, this
case opened the door for the later decision in Planned Parenthood v.
Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992).