Within the span of two years, the highest constitutional courts of twoWestern democracies reached almost diametrically opposed decisions on theissue of abortion. In 1973, the United States Supreme Court held in Roe v.Wade’ that the constitutional right to privacy first articulated in Griswoldv. Connecticut extended to the right to choose to have an abortion. Under Roe, the right to abortion was left unrestricted during the first three months of pregnancy. During the second trimester, until the point of viability, states could regulate abortion only to preserve the health of the woman.’ In the last trimester a state could prohibit abortion, although it was not required to do so.’ While several subsequent decisions have curtailed the broad abortion right articulated in Roe, most abortions remain legal in the United States.’
In contrast, the West German Federal Constitutional Court struck down legislation in 1975 because it failed to criminalize abortion in the first trimester. The court determined that the state has an affirmative duty to protect the life of the fetus and decided that this duty could be fulfilled best through the use of criminal sanctions. As a result, abortion became illegal in West Germany except in a set of special circumstances (or indications) set out in the law.
The existence of these two radically different decisions has spurred theinterest of a number of scholars.
Prosecuting women who carry pregnancies to term despite their drug addictions fails to further the states' goal of protecting fetal health, violates the Equal Protection rights of pregnant women, and is bad public policy.
Critical analysis of the rights of the surrogate gestator and the allied state policies that are applicable to these arrangements.
Sexual and reproductive freedoms are negative privacy rights that the law should protect from encroachment.
As a society, we can have a greater appreciation of the need for resources and services that help individuals deal with reproductive issues if we consider the abortion decision in a holistic context, closely related to all other aspects of
April Shaw∞ Abstract The Supreme Court’s analysis of the fundamental right to abortion as articulated in Planned Parenthood v. Casey fails to take into account how race operates to restrict women of color’s ability to exercise their right to an