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Beyond abortion: the potential reach of a human life amendment.

Authors
  • Westfall, D
Type
Published Article
Journal
American journal of law & medicine
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1982
Volume
8
Issue
2
Pages
97–135
Identifiers
PMID: 7148834
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court held that the constitutionally protected right to privacy includes a woman's right to terminate pregnancy. Following the decision, anti-abortion groups turned to Congress to limit or negate that right. As a result of their efforts, several "human life" statutes and constitutional amendments have been proposed. This Article focuses on the implications of proposed amendments that seek to ban or limit the availability of abortions indirectly by broadening the definition of "person" to include unborn individuals. The Article discusses the potentially serious effects such an amendment would have in areas unrelated to abortion. It finds that the resulting chaos and uncertainty would have great social costs, and concludes that if abortions are to be banned or restricted, a human life amendment that directly deals with abortion is preferable to one that defines "person" to include the unborn.

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