The issue of abortion has sharply divided America. The bitter debate over "Roe v. Wade" - in the courts, legislatures, press and streets - has grown ever more ferocious since the Supreme Court's landmark decision in 1973. For years pro-choicers have applauded "Roe" as a guarantee of women's rights, while pro-lifers have condemned it as the work of an activist and atheistic Court. Now it looms at the centre of a growing political storm, as a new president, and old Court, and a divided Congress reconsider "Roe"'s status in the wake of the controversial 2000 elections. Giving equal attention to both sides of the conflict, the authors trace and analyze the core debates, examine the case's unique history, clarify the jurisprudence behind the Court's ruling, and gauge its impact on American society. Court attempted to steer a middle course by rejecting both abortion on demand and the absolute right to life and yet, in the end, wound up igniting a firestorm of protest instead. The book examines the complete social and legal context of the case. Hull and Hoffer review more than a century of abortion practice (and abuse), common-law views on abortion, 19th-century criminalization measures, and the rapid changes in science, public mores and civil rights that finally brought the issue before the Supreme Court. They also trace abortion law through the 20th century, reprise the 1965 case of "Griswold v. Connecticut", in which the Supreme Court overturned a state law against contraceptives, and reexamine the highly publicized attempts to reverse "Roe" in "Webster v. Reproductive Services" (1989) and "Casey v. Planned Parenthood" (1992). All of the key actors are here: Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" who never actually had the abortion she originally sought; attorney Sarah Weddington, who challenged Texas law by drawing on her own abortion experience; lobbyists on both sides of the question; and each of the Supreme Court justices. This is a book that can inform and enlighten those on either side of the debate, as well as all of those in between.
About N. E. H. Hull
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Published October 1, 2001
by University Press of Kansas.
History, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy, Education & Reference.