Intercultural Human Rights Law Review


In recent years, the debate surrounding abortion has taken flight. It has been one of the most discussed and most controversial topics in the history of the United States as well as around the world. This article undertakes a critical analysis of whether mothers in the United States should maintain their exclusive privacy right to choose to terminate a pregnancy or whether unborn babies also have substantive due process rights, in particular a right to life. The gestational process of human development as well as pregnancy from the mother's perspective shall first be addressed. The various types of abortion procedures, most reported reasons for attaining an abortion, as well as a mother's experiences post abortion and its interaction with the institution of family will also be explored. Conflicting claims from the mother, the unborn child, and the father will be examined as well as the varying doctrines of religious institutions, ideas of philosophy, and the viewpoints of activist organizations from both the pro-life and the pro-choice movements. The legal responses in form of the treatment of abortion in various societies and the United States' history of abortion legislation as well as the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court will also be discussed. Lastly, current and changing conditioning factors in government and politics as well as appraisals of intervention will be explored via critical legal analysis and a solution proposed with a view toward contributing to an order of human dignity, using the framework of the New Haven School of Jurisprudence.