Abortion Rights Restoration
In short, this proposal is modeled after New York's Abortion Rights. You can get an abortion up to and including 24 weeks of pregnancy. After 24 weeks, you can still get an abortion if your health or pregnancy is at risk. States can opt-out of rights restoration laws through a direct democratic vote majority.
- Reproductive rights: Making abortion a right in the United States would affirm the fundamental principle of reproductive autonomy. It recognizes that individuals have the right to make decisions about their own bodies and control their own reproductive choices, including the decision to terminate a pregnancy.
- Women's health and safety: When abortion is legal and accessible, it is performed in a safe and regulated manner by trained medical professionals. This reduces the risks associated with unsafe, clandestine abortions that often occur in countries where it is illegal. By ensuring safe and legal access to abortion, we can protect women's health and well-being.
- Reduction of maternal mortality: Restrictive abortion laws contribute to higher rates of maternal mortality. When women are denied access to safe and legal abortion, they may resort to unsafe methods or be forced into pregnancy and childbirth against their will, which can lead to serious health complications and even death. Recognizing abortion as a right helps reduce maternal mortality rates.
- Social and economic impact: Unintended pregnancies can have significant social and economic consequences. Allowing women to have control over their reproductive choices enables them to plan their families, pursue education, maintain stable employment, and contribute to the workforce. This, in turn, can reduce poverty rates, improve gender equality, and promote overall social and economic development.
- Individual liberty and privacy: The right to abortion is closely tied to individual liberty and privacy. It acknowledges that the government should not interfere in personal and private decisions regarding reproductive choices. Protecting the right to abortion preserves the autonomy and freedom of individuals to make decisions about their own bodies and lives.
- Public opinion and support: The majority of Americans support access to safe and legal abortion. Upholding the right to abortion aligns with the will of the people and ensures that public policy reflects the values and desires of the population. It is crucial for the government to respect and respond to the voices and needs of its citizens.
- Global human rights standards: Many international human rights organizations and treaties recognize access to safe and legal abortion as a fundamental human right. By making abortion a right, the United States would align itself with these global standards and contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.
- Historical context: The Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973 established the constitutional right to abortion in the United States. Overturning or significantly restricting this decision would be a regression in women's rights and a departure from the legal and social progress made over the past several decades. Maintaining and affirming the right to abortion acknowledges and builds upon this historical precedent.
- One of the main arguments for legalizing abortion and advancing abortion rights is based on the bodily integrity and self-ownership of women. This argument emphasizes the importance of autonomy or self-determination of human beings over their own bodies, and claims that women have a moral right to decide what to do with their bodies, including whether or not to terminate a pregnancy.
- Another argument for abortion rights is based on the gender equality of women. This argument asserts that the right to abortion is vital for individual women to achieve their full potential, and that banning abortion puts women at risk by forcing them to use illegal or unsafe methods. This argument also challenges the traditional sex-role stereotypes about sex, caregiving, or decision-making around motherhood, and asks whether abortion restrictions are shaped solely by the state’s interest in protecting potential life, or whether such laws might also reflect constitutionally suspect judgments about women.
- A third argument for abortion rights is based on the constitutional protection of women’s liberty and privacy. This argument relies on the interpretation of the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, which guarantee that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. This argument contends that the right of privacy encompasses a woman’s decision to carry a pregnancy to term, and that the state cannot interfere with this right unless it has a compelling interest that outweighs the woman’s liberty interest.