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AIP The Politics of Abortion - FULL COURSE NOTES

by: Jessica Rozycki

AIP The Politics of Abortion - FULL COURSE NOTES AIP

Marketplace > Marymount Manhattan College > AIP > AIP > AIP The Politics of Abortion FULL COURSE NOTES
Jessica Rozycki

GPA 3.75

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This course bundle includes notes for both of the texts read in class - Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood - Contested Lives: The Abortion Debate in an American Community
The Politics of Abortion
abortion, Politics, Feminism, Motherhood, sociology, Women
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This 17 page Bundle was uploaded by Jessica Rozycki on Monday October 3, 2016. The Bundle belongs to AIP at Marymount Manhattan College taught by Nossif in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see The Politics of Abortion in AIP at Marymount Manhattan College.


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Date Created: 10/03/16
Luker Chapters 1&2 th  How physicians define abortion as a medical issue in the 19  century  What are the implications of this? ­Formed vs. unformed embryo ­Protestant church remained absent from the debate ­Use of history to support their debate *1965, church dictates abortion as murder Physicians’ success: 1) Social reasons  Only those who went to school could make decisions (medical status)  Wanted to preserve the white race in the US  result of drop in birth rate and increase in immigration  Political machine = a system that assures a certain party/person remains in power 2) Moral reasons  Believed women were too ignorant to make informed medical decisions  Abortion was considered murder but sometimes medically necessary (paradox) 3) Economic reasons  Could eliminate midwives ­­ All contribute to raising the status of physicians 1848  American Medical Association (AMA) ­ US creates a national presence after civil war ­ Physicians had a voice in state government ­ Women’s movement gains traction ­­ They believed abortion was a men’s issue, as they control pregnancy Luker Chapter 3 Abortion described as a medical issue  Physicians were appointed as authority, considered medical experts  Women were considered too emotional to make a decision Catholic church:  Enters the political conversation ­Could not interfere with natural order ­Contraception/abortion was thought to disrupt procreation ­Considered moral experts ­Birth control seen as the easy way out, rather than remaining abstinent Women – preserve their health, social status, etc. Lawyers – legality, rights Reasons for illegal abortions: * Money, medical expenses were too steep * Not all doctors would agree to perform abortions * Seen as a private issue Strict constructionists = only supporter abortion to preserve life of the woman Broad constructionists = more sensitive to all medical issues, everyone had their own reasons for  needing an abortion Hospital boards: ­ Had to go through professionals before abortions were performed ­ Done in order to protect the legitimacy of the hospital ­ Lawyers joined the debate by helping the physicians who feared getting arrested 1950s  ALI coalition (American Law Institute) provided legal protection Sherri Finkbine –  Highlighted the differences between strict and broad constructionists  Mother, wealthy, married  Broke the stereotype of the types of women who were getting abortions  Brought the issues into the eyes of the general public (over half of the country  supported her)  Challenged church and doctors Griswold vs. Connecticut  Griswold and Buxton (MD) gave information to married couples about contraceptives  Wanted to break the law in order to get a case QUESTION: Is the Connecticut law constitutional? (Many believed no) Justice Harlan – th  14  amendment states that the bill of rights also applies to the states  Believed argument would have been stronger if the 14  amendment stood alone Justice Goldberg –  Emphasis on the 9  amendment and the protection of fundamental rights  Because not all of the rights can be explicitly states, must leave it up to state’s  discretion Justice Black (dissent) –  Bill of rights interpreted too broadly  No specific reference to privacy  Highlights that their public activity is breaking the law Luker Chapter 4 1966­1973 1) MDs: right to practice 2) Lawyers: rights and the 9  amendment 3) Women: liberal feminists focus on ALI, radical feminists focus on repeal 4) Church: launch of campaigns against reform in the states 5) Public: paying more attention as a result of Finkbine and Griswold 6) State legislation: state rights  Not one group can have control California –  Study conducted to find out the number of abortions that were being performed  Early 1960s – still only discussed by lawyers and physicians  Public hearings: a network of different groups of pro­abortion reform  CCTA (page 84) = “blue ribbon group”  ALI bill reaches Governor Reagan o Would only sign off if “fetal implications” is removed o Opened up possibilities for how fetal implications can be determined o Only state to delete this clause (now law only relies on danger of women’s life,  rape, and incest) o Raises question of who controls the fetus Decade of equality: ­ Motivation for reform ­ Differences highlighted in terms of economics, race, class, and gender ­ Questioned essentials ideas of what it means to be a woman ­ Women’s reproductive system should not be subject to government control 1967 – * How to mobilize women in New York * Focus on abortion as a health issue * NOW (National Organization of Women) ­­ Some wanted to keep the focus on equality in the workplace ­­ Others believed no other changes were worth it if they didn’t have reproductive rights Luker Chapter 5  Reform vs. repeal movements Reform:  All professionals (CCTA)  Have resources in the hospitals  Saw abortion as a medical issue  More organized/acclaimed, ran the movement Repeal:  SHA  saw abortion as a woman’s right (all women should join the movement)  Being radical moves dialogue forward  Consciousness­raising sessions = exposed a new way of thinking about certain topics Actions by SHA (1960) “Society for Humane Abortion”  Door to door canvassing, debates, referrals, worked with clergy, helped women for all reasons  (no restrictions) NOW showcased women as a political group: ­ More women in the workforce, going to college, having children (created an audience for the abortion issue) ­ Transfer of children as an economic unit to an emotional entity Luker Chapter 6 PRE­ROE:  Anti­abortion o Mostly professional men o “Socially situated” = connected to legal and medical contexts o Believed everyone agreed that life began at conception o Weren’t around the people who performed abortions for reasons other than saving the life of the woman  Pro­abortion o “Movement suits” = feminist lawyers brought issues to court in order to gain  public recognition and make the court form decisions ­ Example  Vuitch  Language was too vague when discussing health of the woman  Ruled in favor of physicians medical judgment POST­ROE:  Broad, moral issue for the country  Name change  pro­life/pro­choice Women in the anti­abortion movement ­ Duty as a Christian to stop it ­ First time being a part of a social movement ­ Saw debate as an attack on motherhood ­ “Self­recruits” ­ Housewives, many kids, high school education Roe vs. Wade QUESTION: Were the Texas abortion laws constitutional? “Personhood” ­Pregnancy divided into three terms, more of a solid basis for a decision Focus on medical/legal aspects (rather than personal/religious): * Want to make clear to court’s audience that they knew it was a difficult decision * Rooted their decision in history to make it more justifiable Argument against Texas law ­ More risks in pregnancy than abortion (safety argument invalid) ­ Outdated idea that abortions were unsafe ­ Nobody’s rights are absolute  state, woman, fetus Decision (7­2)  1­6 months – no state interference  3­6 months – state can only regulate to protect fetus (example: must be done in a  hospital rather than a clinic)  6­9 months – state can say no unless woman’s health is in danger Dissent, Justice Rehnquist ­Doesn’t believe privacy argument is valid because it is not explicitly stated in the amendment ­Compelling state interest should not be part of Due Process Clause, but rather Equal Protection  Clause Due Process Clause = claiming something obstructs people’s rights Planned Parenthood vs. Danforth Central Missouri, 1976­  Missouri Planned Parenthood clinic filed suit, claiming all provisions of the law were  unconstitutional  Plaintiffs = Planned Parenthood, physicians Missouri law ­ Pregnant woman must verify that the abortion is her decision and not a result of coercion ­ No saline abortions were allowed after 12 weeks ­ Must get consent from husband, and parent if she was a minor (unless the abortion was  necessary to save the mother's life) Decision:  ­ Upheld the official definition for viability ­ Established reporting and recordkeeping requirements for abortion clinics and doctors ­ Written consent from woman was kept, but spousal and parental consent was considered  unconstitutional, as the only authority should be the woman’s physician (according to  Roe) Luker Chapter 7  World views = broad understanding of how people view the world (individuals)  Faith vs. science Pro­life world views ­ Essential views of men and women  ­    Belief that God has a plan and it should not be disrupted ­    If women don’t want to have kids, they should not be sexually active ­    Abortion disrupts natural plan or order, attacks the ideas of motherhood ­    Contributes to lessening the man’s authority, women can have an abortion without his  consent ­    Takes responsibility away from men because the don’t have to worry as much about  getting women pregnant ­    Page 162  motherhood shoulder be considered work ­    Believe sex is sacred, amative sex has no purpose ­    In favor of a limited national government ­    Natural family planning empowers women ­    Page 171  ultimate argument Pro­choice world views ­ Amative sex is practice ­ There is no “natural order” for women ­ Ideas of personhood are gradualist, focus on the quality of life and when the fetus can  connect with others ­ Chapter 8  Debate among women about what motherhood/womanhood meant Pro­life activists  Married  Unemployed  Large families  Attends church regularly  No education above high school  Have values that put them on a specific path/lifestyle that supports pro­life “Surprise” pregnancies – women are supposed to have children, so a surprise isn’t necessarily  considered unwanted Pro­choice activists  Married to guys with money  Makes $50,000/year  Small families  College or higher education How does abortion devalue motherhood? ­ Society puts a value of jobs that make money, require intelligence ­ Pro­life women are concerned with the woth of motherhood (sees abortion as a personal  attack) ­ The convenience of abortion is seen as a danger for them ERA (Equal Rights Act)  Pro­life women generally opposed it o Could have repercussions (women would get custody after divorce, alimony,  etc.) o Idea that this and abortion got men off the hook o Could destroy traditional roles for women  Pro­choice wanted women to have more control o Women can make their own decisions o Freedom to complete with men Maher vs. Roe  CT Welfare Department limits state health benefits for first trimester abortions to those  that are medically necessary (challenging the constitutionality of this limitation)  Pro­life people don’t want their tax money funding abortions Two poor women want abortions:  CT funds medically necessary abortions but not elective  Argue that all abortions are medical procedures, need to be funded Decision: ­ CT regulations are constitutional ­ Claim that poverty is not their concern, not something people can be discriminated  against for ­ Federal government has no obligation to provide economic relief Dissent: ­ This regulation coerces poor women to make a decision that is more financially  appropriate ­ Justice William Brennan  believes the state is forcing women to carry children, making  their reproductive decisions for them ­ Roe allows a woman to make a decision without pressure Harris vs. McRae  Challenging the constitutionality of Hyde Amendment, which restricts the use of  Medicaid funds for abortions Decision: ­ Hyde Amendment upheld ­ Does not make the decision for women, but rather withholds funding (no constitutional  entitlement to funds) Dissent: ­ Women are coerced into full term pregnancies ­ Creates a separation of rights for women who have finances and those who don’t ­ Violates women’s right to decide Akron vs. Akron Center for Reproductive Rights Ohio, 1983 * Did the provisions of the Akron ordinance violate the rights granted by Roe v. Wade and the  th 14  amendment? Provisions 1) After the first trimester, all abortions must be done in hospitals o Too costly o Not medically necessary (2  semester abortions can’t be deemed dangerous,  no evidence) 2) Unmarried minors needed parental consent o Court can’t make a blanket claim for all minors (too situational) 3) 24­hour waiting period after signed consent  o Delaying tactic o Medically unnecessary  4) Fetal remains be disposed in a “humane and sanitary manner” o Too vague 5) Doctors required to inform woman about details of the pregnancy (stage of fetal  development, date of viability, risks of abortion, availability of adoption agencies and  childbirth resources) o Listing all risks could be considered coercion o Can’t interfere with relationship between physicians and their patients  ­­ All provisions unconstitutional  Dissent  O’Connor  Trimester framework is unworkable  Court will have to keep up with medical information  Viability indicates that the court should have an interest throughout the entire  pregnancy because of the idea of “potential life”  State’s interest comes in sooner than Roe  Need a new framework, something compelling or rational O’Connor’s dissent – a green light for pro­life focus ­ Country moving to the right (conservative) ­ Believed Reagan’s presidency would overturn Roe ­ Believed the federal government should stay out of state legislation Ginsburg Chapters 3­4 “Consented Lives” ­ Highlighting both sides of the argument ­ Focus on women, belief that the abortion debate exploits women (pages 17­18) ­ What it means to be a woman in America ­ Both sides see abortion as anti­woman, united in how they believe they need to change  the world for women Fargo, North Dakota  Example of the average person in the US  Large size (10,000 people)  Example of the clinic that causes action  Religious culture (90 churches)  Community oriented  Ginsburg is an outsider, can get honest, authentic answers Residents of Fargo – Conservative, rights­oriented, individualism, think for themselves Why people believed men/women differ: Pro­choice  external factors, discrimination, etc. Pro­life  different but equal, believe mother is being attacked Social dramas 1) The Initial Breach  Ronna Hartman  new legislator  New law proposal only loses by 5 votes  Brings about new attention for abortion 2) Crisis and Redress  Ethel and Millie set basic groundwork for pro­choice movement  Used legislation to make a change 3) Local­Nation Linkages  First look at how the debate would be shaped  No outside support, formed from the community  Pro­life women vote for referendum 4) Impact of Roe v. Wade  Strengthened pro­life movement  Motivated by outrage, more organized  Pro­choice people lessen Ginsburg Chapter 5 Women as a group don’t act as a group ­ Standing together as a political group ­ Regardless of sides, the women should have a choice ­ Women against other women “Midwestern Feminism” = home, family, religion Other groups are forming ­ Vision of life, assembly of God, Birthright ­ Competition (how to change opinions Sidewalk counseling  People trained to talk to people coming into the clinic  Trying to persuade people not to get abortions, talk about support from community  Efforts at reclaiming the territory  Pro­choice community should be helping pregnant women Fetus as a symbol – Shows it’s a living thing (potential person, should be protected), never show the pregnant woman Webster v. Reproductive Health Services Missouri, 1986 Restrictions on abortion: 1) Preamble = life begins at conception 2) Public facilities/employees can’t be used for abortions (unless woman’s life is in danger)  Doesn’t prohibit women from having abortions  Not an undue burden  Up to the state not to provide public hospitals  According to SC, if it doesn’t prevent the abortion, it’s not undue 3) Public funding for counseling is prohibited 4) Mandatory viability tests  Need to account for margin of error  Undermines authority of physicians  Undue burden is not based on science, gives physicians less protection (trimester  framework more on their favor) ­­ None of the restrictions deemed unconstitutional Concurring  Scalia ­ Believes court is becoming a political platform/outlet ­ Wants court to overturn Roe Dissent  Blackmun ­ Wants court to uphold Roe ­ No regard for precedent (established in Roe) ­ No issues with viability, but the trimester framework is more grounded in science ­ Undue burden is more subjective (option, religious beliefs, etc.) ­ Privacy is not mentioned in the constitution, but there are many things in there that we  still follow Planned Parenthood vs. Casey  Pennsylvania, 1992 Abortion provisions –  Informed consent from the pregnant woman o State has the right to give this information  24­hour waiting period o Doesn’t post a substantial obstacle to a woman getting an abortion  Minors require permission from their parents  Married woman needs to provide a verified spousal notification o STRUCK DOWN (only one) o Too risky in terms of abuse Facts: ­ 5 plaintiffs and 1 physician ­ PA is the leading anti­abortion state ­ District court found provisions unconstitutional ­ Due process (page 210) ­ Women’s liberty interest (page 214) ­ New decision balances state interest (w/ undue burden) and women’s rights (w/ viability)  – page 220 ­ Did away with trimester framework Dissent  Blackmun ­ Trimester framework is the only thing the majority of justices have all agreed on (page  239) ­ Undue burden balances both sides of the debate Dissent  Rehnquist ­ If they want to uphold Roe, they should uphold all of Roe ­ They made a mistake in Roe, so should they keep making the same mistake on the sole  basis of honoring stare decisis? ­ Should use rational standard  ­ Spousal notification is not consent (page 248)


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