Abortion: A Case Study in Law and Morals

Abortion: A Case Study in Law and Morals

Abortion: A Case Study in Law and Morals

Abortion: A Case Study in Law and Morals

Synopsis

"[Frohock's] technique is to set forth the theoretical arguments for and against abortion by displaying them through the words of those who actively participate in the abortion controversy. He also presents the contemporary data about abortions (who gets them, how many are performed each year, where are they performed) and what important legal precedents both led to and can be extrapolated from the Supreme Court's 1973 decision to legalize abortion in Roe v. Wade.... The writing is extremely clear and concise; both the chapters and extensive bibliography are divided by topics, such as the ethical issues behind abortion, abortion statistics, and the relationship between morality and abortion law. Excellent reference work for both a philosophical and an empirical inquiry into abortion. This book stands out as one of few to be accessible to both general readers and undergraduates alike." - Choice

Excerpt

Abortion is a Rashomon story. It has many tellings, and the narrators see different truths. Listen to Bill Baird describe how he became involved in abortion politics.

. . . . In New York City, I heard a woman scream going into a hospital. . . . I ran into the hallway and saw this woman, who looked to be about 30 years of age, literally staggering. I was still pretty fast back then and I ran after her and I caught her. As I held her for a moment, I let her slide to the ground and I noticed the lower part of her body was totally covered with blood and she had an eight-inch piece of wire coathanger sticking in the uterus with which she had obviously tried to abort herself when she found she was pregnant for the ninth time, on welfare, but single and in those days, you could not get birth control pills if you were single. That was the law of New York. So the woman died right before me and she was so worried about her kids, what would happen to them and now the whole family was totally split apart after her death and I was outraged that a society could say to a woman, not only could you not have an abortion, but you could not even have birth control. And the ironic part was that we could fly that same woman to India or to Pakistan, you and I, the taxpayer would pay for birth control overseas. But in New York and many other states, we couldn't. I thought that was foolish and that's when I decided to do something.

Baird, as any student of constitutional law knows, became an advocate for pro-choice and helped liberalize laws on birth control and abortion. Now listen to Rita Kisil, who became active on the pro-life side.

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