The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday January 22nd

Letter: ​The legal history of abortion in the U.S.


In British antiquity, throughout the colonies, during our founding Revolution, by our Constitutional Convention and in our promising country, abortions were unlimited with full approval of the law.

Doctors desired to disqualify midwives and others, whose income largely came from completing abortions.

Arriviste Holiness charisma had exgeneated Puritanism and Quakerism nationally, and Holiness presumptions of Congregational stock-loss augmented Connecticut’s 1821 prohibition — an overture — on toxic substance ingestion after fetal “quickening,” with other states following.

Statutorily limited in all states, 1910 Kentucky last, now-illicit abortions increased during the Great Depression. Many women died.

Griswold v. Connecticut revealed the “zone of privacy” (Our constitution document lists no “privacy right”).

Eisenstadt v. Baird legitimized birth control for all (not only married women), deeming irrational basis — preventing public health — in Massachusetts’s ban on distributing contraceptives to unwedded people.

Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton ruled: abortions as privacy issues; hospital abortion boards unconstitutional; and laws which restrict access to abortions violate rights of health care and of physicians to practice.

Roe applied “fundamental” privacy strict-scrutiny, explaining states must validate encumberment through “compelling state interest,” stipulating a “trimester framework.”

Henry Hyde appropriation “riders” passed since 1976. “Unborn persons” language appeared in statutes thereafter.

“Fetal viability” replaced “trimester framework” in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

While all abortions remain illegal in most U.S. “free-trade” partners, a 5-4 abomination struck-down the ACA’s contraceptive mandate for Hobby Lobby.

The judiciary profaned, striking down Massachusetts’s buffer-zones.

From 2010 to January 2016, 288 counterproductive gestures of statute re-enacted jeopardy.

Christopher Myers

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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