Abortion Paper - 1,744 words ABORTION: JUST? OR JUST PLAIN...

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1,744 words ABORTION: JUST? OR JUST PLAIN WRONG AN ACADEMIC EXPLORATION BY
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xxxx/”ABORTION: JUST? OR JUST PLAIN WRONG” A controversial issue that has swept the nation for the past two centuries is abortion. Before even looking into this issue, one must explore the definition of abortion and a brief history of abortion and its laws. The term “abortion” actually refers to any premature expulsion of a human fetus, whether naturally spontaneous, as in a miscarriage, or artificially induced, as in a surgical or chemical abortion. Today, the most common usage of the term “abortion” applies to artificially induced abortion, which is the subject of this paper. Early abortion laws date back to the colonial period. The colonies inherited English Common Law and largely operated under it until well into the 19th century. English Common Law prohibited abortion. Abortion prior to “quickening” (the first movement by a fetus, which was usually after the fourth month of pregnancy) was a misdemeanor. Abortion after “quickening” was a felony and criminal punishments were given to those who participated. Beginning in the 19th century, laws making abortion illegal were enacted. The laws made in the early 1800’s did nothing to change the traditions of abortion before "quickening". The first state law to make abortion illegal 2
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xxxx/”ABORTION: JUST? OR JUST PLAIN WRONG” at any point in pregnancy was passed in Massachusetts in 1845. By the turn of the century all states prohibited abortion, but only Pennsylvania prohibited all abortions with no loophole for the risk of death for the woman. Criminal penalties were given to those that aided, assisted, helped, or counseled a woman obtaining an abortion. In fourteen states it was also a crime to obtain an abortion. In 1967, Colorado was the first state to permit abortions but only in limited circumstances. Beginning in 1970 four states enacted laws to permit an abortion if the woman and her doctor felt that it was necessary. New York was one of them. Abortion was not allowed after viability, which occurs in the third trimester. By 1972, thirteen more states had similar laws. In twenty-eight states, bills were introduced but could not pass both houses. If women could afford the cost, many traveled to states where abortion was legal. Some of the women gave in to unethical profiteers who charged ridiculous prices to arrange for abortions out of state. Several of the agencies were prosecuted and closed down by the attorney general of New York. Then in 1973, the Supreme Court made the Roe V. Wade decision (that is, the most famous court case involving 3
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xxxx/”ABORTION: JUST? OR JUST PLAIN WRONG”
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Abortion Paper - 1,744 words ABORTION: JUST? OR JUST PLAIN...

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