Document Detail

When rights collide.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10294678     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Roe v. Wade has been fated to be overruled. Its demise has been guaranteed because of the evident political nature of the opinion, and because the Supreme Court will not long favor one intensely held "right" over its opposite intensely held "right." Past history shows the Court will step back from such a position. Finally, Roe v. Wade will be disposed of because it stands for certain values this country has long ago rejected.
As a decision lacking in grounding in defensible judicial doctrine, Roe v Wade is destined to be overruled. Since 1973, it has become clear to activists on both sides of the abortion debate that this decision represents more a political statement than a case with a constitutional basis. The collision of rights embodied in Roe v Wade has echoes in 2 earlier decisions: Dred Scott v Sanford, in which rights of property and freedom were counterpoised, and Lochner v New York, in which the right of contract conflicted with the right to decent working conditions. In the Roe v Wade case, the conflict is between the right to privacy and the right to potential life. All such decisions are doomed because they take 1 side in what is an irreconcilable conflict of rights. Since the form is unstable, the decision cannot be maintained. In the case of abortion, the Supreme Court decision has nothing to do with true potentiality of life; rather, its logic lies in its insistence on the point of viability at the end of the 6th or 7th month. Because a nonviable fetus is dependent on its mother, that person and no other has the right to control its fate. In contrast, a viable fetus can be dependent on any number of people for survival and can no longer be viewed as the property of the mother. Thus, under Roe v Wade, the right of privacy vis a vis abortion is a property right and the Supreme Court has, in the Dred Scott and Lochner decisions, rejected a view of a human entity as chattel property.
D F Forte
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Health matrix     Volume:  7     ISSN:  -     ISO Abbreviation:  Health Matrix     Publication Date:  1989  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1989-10-13     Completed Date:  1989-10-13     Revised Date:  2014-06-27    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8405332     Medline TA:  Health Matrix     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  37-41     Citation Subset:  H; J    
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MeSH Terms
Abortion, Legal / supply & distribution*
Human Rights*
United States

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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