I have recently learned about Mississippi’s attempts to outlaw abortion as well as the use of contraception within their state. Due to the ruling of Roe v. Wade, you would think that this is illegal for the state of Mississippi to do, right? Wrong.
Roe v. Wade did indeed give people throughout the nation the constitutional right to an abortion. Roe v. Wade considered abortion to be a negative right and determined that the government cannot prevent a woman’s choice for an abortion because it creates an undue burden. Though Roe v. Wade ruled that abortion is a fundamental right, another Supreme Court case, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey ruled that it is not. Casey reaffirmed the essential holding of Roe but it also allowed states to place restrictions that would regulate abortions. These restrictions would be the states attempt to make it much more difficult for a women to receive an abortion. Restrictions on abortions include wait periods and the necessity of parental consent as well as spousal notification.
In 2006, there had been protests over the last abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi. By shutting down the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, abortion would no longer be accessible within the state. It was shocking for me to realize that the ruling of Casey had basically allowed the states to in a way shut down abortion clinics by their regulations. Through watching the film “The Last Abortion Clinic,” I was able to see the intense protests that went on around the clinics. People would be shouting verses from the Bible and strongly discouraging women from their abortion consultations. The state’s regulations and the pro-life protests directly outside of the clinics discouraged women from seeking abortions and in turn decreased the traffic within the clinics. By decreasing the traffic within clinics, the clinics would have no other choice but to close their practice.
Despite certain oppositions to the protests, Mills would support the people protesting pro-abortion outside of clinics. Mills believed in the freedom of speech and objected to the use of censorship. He would believe that the protesters would assist the women seeking abortions to figure out their own truths by lettings them know what all of their options are.
On the other hand, the women seeking the abortions could possibly use the Dirty Hands argument to justify their abortion. Women that are typically seeking abortion are either not mentally or economically prepared to have children. The women can argue that they had the abortion out of the best interest of society. They can say that if they were to have their children, the children would only burden society because they would not have been able to support them on their own.
Today Mississippi is still adamantly trying to not allow abortions. Mississippi’s most recent attempt in November was to pass a Personhood Amendment. If this amendment had been passed, it would have ultimately outlawed abortion and emergency contraception such as the pill known as Plan B. Though this amendment did not pass, I find it interesting to know that despite the fact that abortion is a constitutional right, states still have the authority to create regulations for these abortions.
What are your thoughts on our constitutional right to an abortion and how states have the right to regulate abortions? Do you believe that any philosophers would agree or disagree with the right of the states to regulate abortion?