The 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision is still one of the most hotly discussed rulings in the history of the high court. Despite great efforts by anti-abortion supporters, the core tenants of that decision have remained in place for nearly 50 years now. However, these tenants are once again being challenged, as the Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a case concerning a Mississippi law that would outlaw abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The upcoming case raises a key question about the role of state governments on this issue: Should states pass legislation to restrict access to abortion?
Those who support states passing legislation to restrict access to abortion argue that current laws do not adequately protect the unborn’s right to life. They contend that the fundamental job of government is to protect the life of all, and an abortion is equivalent to killing a fetus. Additionally, this side may argue that the Supreme Court created a new law in its ruling in Roe v. Wade and that it should instead be the job of state governments to decide what restrictions can apply to abortions.
Those who oppose states passing legislation to restrict access to abortion argue that doing so is a violation of a woman’s right to privacy and the ability to make decisions about her body. This side may argue that an unborn fetus has not adequately developed yet to have rights, and that therefore the focus should be on the woman’s right to choose what she wants done. Finally, they may claim that the Supreme Court did not create a new law in Roe v. Wade, but rather simply interpreted the Constitution to invalidate a previously existing law. They argue that it is oppressive for state governments to pass laws that go beyond what that decision allowed for abortion restrictions.
So, what do you think? Should states pass legislation to restrict access to abortion? Students can answer Yes, they should; No, they should not; or a nuanced answer in-between!
Note: Ideal Think the Vote responses include the following:
-Address the question asked in a thoughtful and meaningful manner
-Use cited facts and constitutional arguments when appropriate to support their answers
-Are expressed in cohesive sentences and are free of distracting spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors
-They address counter-arguments and opposing concerns in a respectful manner
-They organize their answer in a manner that flows logically and reads clearly