was also a turning point in government.
Roes case required states to allow women to have an abortion during the first six months of pregnancy. This allowed women a choice if they would like to keep a child. Roe vs. Wade was so controversial because it dealt with the topic of abortion. statutes enforcementso that she might go forward with the abortion. The district courts agreed with Roe that the law was unconstitutionally vague
and violated her right privacy under the Ninth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment.
How can the abortion issue be resolved? Many believe that the issue can be resolved if, and only if, we can determine when human life begins. Those opposed to abortion choice typicallysay that human life begins at conception. Many who favor abortion choice say that we will never know when human life begins. The importance of the when-does human-life-begin issue is not so much argued for as it is taken to be self-evident. Furthermore, belief that this issue is fundamental is taken for granted – at least outside of philosophy – by many of the people who seem to disagree aboutalmost everything else concerning abortion. It has been my experience that – with rare exceptions – even those who insist that the issue of abortion should focus on the interests of pregnant women believe that this focus is warranted because fetuses are either not yet fully alive or not yet fully human. The prevalence of this assumption is illustrated by the structure of this conference. The sessiontitled “The Beginning of Life” contains talks by two individuals who have written extensively about abortion and who disagree about its permissibility. Presumably those who put this conference together simply assumed that the abortion disagreement is a disagreement about when human life begins. This assumption is not unreasonable. It has been taken for granted at the highest levels. Consider, forexample, the most famous legal opinions concerning abortion, the majority opinions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Justice Harry Blackmun, writing for the majority in Roe, said: We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, atthis point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer. Blackmun went on to defend this view. First, he claimed that according to many religions and philosophies, life does not begin before live birth. According to him, the Stoics held this view, and it is the predominant attitude of the Jewish faith and “a large segment of the Protestant community.”Blackmun then cited the views of various groups that had, according to him, rejected the view that life begins at conception. Second, Blackmun went on to defend the view that “In areas other than criminal abortion, the law has been reluctant to endorse any theory that life, as we recognize it, begins before live birth or to accord legal rights to the unborn….” He concluded that the court had...