Wednesday, 11th July 2012
Abortion: Judicial History and Legislative Response
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)
In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), that the U.S. Constitution protects a woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy. In Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973), a companion decision, the Court found that a state may not unduly burden the exercise of that fundamental right with regulations that prohibit or substantially limit access to the means of effectuating the decision to have an abortion. Rather than settle the issue, the Court’s rulings since Roe and Doe have continued to generate debate and have precipitated a variety of governmental actions at the national, state, and local levels designed either to nullify the rulings or limit their effect. These governmental regulations have, in turn, spawned further litigation in which resulting judicial refinements in the law have been no more successful in dampening the controversy.
Although the primary focus of this report is legislative action with respect to abortion, discussion of the various legislative proposals necessarily involves an examination of the leading Supreme Court decisions concerning a woman’s right to choose.
+ Direct link to report (PDF; 287 KB)
By Adrian Janes
Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes is currently an Information Services Librarian with the London Borough of Havering.
In this role, he has particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by Free Pint Ltd. in 2007. He is also involved in training and publicising online reference resources and is a regular contributor to DocuTicker.
Adrian can be reached at email@example.com
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