Hopefully, society is evolving and someday soon the vast majority will agree that laws that force women to carry their pregnancy to term not only contradict the precepts of the U.S. Constitution but any definition of compassion and decency as well. It is unconscionable that a nation founded on and dedicated to civil liberties could allow its citizens to resort to dangerous self-abortion procedures.
Two questions arise when debating whether the Constitution legally protects a woman’s right to have an abortion performed. The first involves reasoning whether the fundamental interests of women are affected by the restricting of abortion. The other inquires if laws preventing legal abortions are justified even if the Constitution does in fact address this issue. Answering the first question is rather simple. Courts regularly hear cases so as to decide whether or not the rights of an individual are protected by the Constitution. If courts are engaged in recognizing if the fundamental rights of individuals are protected, then the personal interest of a woman being forced by the government to have an unwanted child certainly applies. Recognizing that courts do indeed have the authority to intervene in decisions involving individual rights citing the Constitution as precedence, could laws preventing abortions still be justified in spite of this egregious encroachment on the civil liberties of women? After all, constitutional rights are not unconditional. Why doesn’t the government have an interest in protecting the rights of those not yet born? The Fourteenth Amendment answers this question. It begins by referring to “All persons born ... in the United States” (“Fourteenth Amendment”, 2006), indicating that the protections under the Constitution refer only to persons who are ‘born.’
Those opposed to Roe also argue that if the Constitution does not directly address an