The US legislative regarding abortion is based on the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade from 1973. With reference to the 14th amendment and its due process clause, the Court stated that a right to privacy encompasses the woman’s right to end an unwanted pregnancy. This decision radically rewrote the history of the United States by disallowing then effective state and federal restrictions concerning abortion. On the one hand, it was hailed with enthusiasm by the liberal human rights activists, on the other hand, it was firmly condemned by the social conservatives, mainly protestant Christians and Catholics. A heated discussion continues up to these days, provoking seemingly irreconcilable fight between the two groups. In recent years, the awaking of the pro-life activism is highly publicized, spurring the liberal public’s counteroffensive.

Nevertheless, in the years following the Court’s ruling, the original decision has been modified in a way which undoubtedly favors the pro-choice side. In Roe v. Wade, the Court stated that under the federal law, the pregnancy can be interrupted until 24 weeks, which is regarded as a point of fetus’ viability outside a woman’s womb. However, the Court also gave the states the right to set the limit on a different threshold, and that the abortion can be banned after the first trimester (13 weeks) of pregnancy if the state’s legislature decides that way. In later rulings, the Court abandoned the clause, setting the viability doctrine as a federal rule bounding for all the states. However, this provision is not adhered in many states nowadays. It is important to state, though, that thanks to Roe, the US shifted from a position of strict abortion restrictive policy towards a very liberal one. In comparison, the law regarding abortion in the Czech Republic, which is regarded as very liberal in the European context, sets the legal deadline for possible abortion on 12 weeks of pregnancy, later interventions can only be performed in cases of fetus’ clear non-viability, or if the mother’s life could be endangered due to the continuing pregnancy.

The development at the Supreme Court

With such an overwhelmingly liberal federal legislation, the states tried to curb the law in various ways, since the time it came into effect. They frequently reacted with adoption of measures limiting or regulating abortion, such as laws requiring parental consent for minors to obtain abortions, parental notification laws, spousal mutual consent laws, laws requiring abortions to be performed in hospitals but not clinics, laws barring state funding for abortions, or laws requiring waiting periods before abortion and laws mandating women read certain types of literature and watch a fetal ultrasound before undergoing an abortion. Most of the pro-life proponents arguments are not only based on their moral convictions, but also on medical evidence of prenatal pain. For the purpose of the law, the most important argument is the text of the US Constitution. Such stance can be quite accurately demonstrated by the Supreme Court Justice Scalia’s dissenting argument in the case Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Scalia expressed his opinion that abortion “is not a liberty protected by the Constitution, because the Constitution does not mention it, and because longstanding traditions have permitted it to be legally proscribed.”[1] The above mentioned case is often regarded as one which endangered further validity of Roe v Wade in its original version, since the majority of justices were willing to overturn the ruling initially, but justice Kennedy finally created the majority of those who decided to uphold it. This case is, nevertheless, perceived as crucial evidence of the growing influence of the pro-life wing in the Supreme Court and US executive.

This trend allegedly began with the presidency of Ronald Reagan, whose stance toward the liberal abortion legislative was remarkably skeptical. Perhaps surprisingly, the same cannot be said about his Supreme Court appointees. Although Reagan was lucky to be able to name four vacations, his candidates occurred to have diverging opinions on the abortion issue. Justice Kennedy turned out to be a tab on the scale, once siding with the dissent, and then upholding the issue, Sandra Day O’Connor finally joined the liberal camp, and only the Chief Justice Rehnquist and a die-hard conservative Scalia stood for the pro-life values, although the first mentioned was not particularly strong in his persuasion. In Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (1986), the justices struck down the Pennsylvania abortion restrictions. Pennsylvania law adopted in 1982 required, besides others, that women who decide for abortion would be compulsorily informed about the possible risks of the intervention, which was regarded as a breach of Roe. That time, a young member of staff of the solicitor general and a federal justice to be Samuel A. Alito was assigned with the task how to best persuade the Supreme Court to preserve the Pennsylvania law. Though Alito wrote in his report, that the initial steps should aim at mitigating the effects of Roe, he made clear that he disagrees with the ruling as a whole and that the decision should be overruled.[2] Although Alito was very active to push the idea forward, the final ruling turned out to be clear defeat for Reagan administration. Justice Blackmun, who wrote the majority opinion in a nearly contemptuous tone, saw the importance of Roe equal to such anti-discriminatory decisions as Brown v. Board of Education.

The group of Justices willing to submit the abortion law to revision further enlarged when president G. H. Bush, although himself not particularly interested in abortion issues and regarded more as a moderate, named two new justices, David Souter and Clarence Thomas. President Clinton nominated two justices as well, Ruth Ginsburg and David Breyer, which brought generally no change to the then equilibrium between the liberal and conservative side in the abortion dispute. During the G. W. Bush’s and Clinton’s presidency, the court remained split with four liberal-leaning and four conservative-leaning justices, the ninth voice of justice Kennedy being more often liberal, but still unpredictable, though. Since then, social conservative lobby adopted an unsuccessful strategy of reasoning justice Kennedy into their cause. In this time, the tight majority also upheld the constitutionality of Roe in Stenberg v. Carhart (2000) stating that Nebraska had no right to ban the second trimester abortion procedure known as intact dilation and extraction (IDX).[3] Justice Kennedy dissented in this case, and largely conservative Rehnquist supported the majority.

In 2007, the last important ruling of the Supreme Court took place in the case Gonzales v. Carhart. It was supposed to confirm or decline the constitutionality of Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act enacted by the federal government in 2003. The tight majority 5:4 confirmed the constitutionality of the act, therein overruling the previous decision of Stenberg, although the invalidity of the previous ruling was not mentioned explicitly in the majority opinion. Such move was clearly enabled by another change in the Court’s membership, with new G. W. Bush’s nominees, justices Roberts and Alito, who supported the pro-life campus. This is one of a few significant decisions taken in favor of the pro-life campus. For the purpose of their goals, the ruling can be viewed as somewhat unhappy one. The procedure prohibited by the Court was only used in less than 1% of the cases,[4] but it occurred mainly when the woman’s health could be virtually endangered. Therefore, its ban triggered a subsequent wave of opposition of the pro-choice physicians. According to them, this is the first time the Court has ever held that physicians can be prohibited from using a medical procedure deemed necessary by the physician to benefit the patient’s health.[5] The media immediately started reporting about the vast right-wing conspiracy against abortionists.

 Since then, no major Supreme Court ruling on the abortion issues took place. The media usually predicted that the decision would trigger a vast overhaul of the abortion legislative, and warned against the growing influence of the Christian Right. Nevertheless, the number of abortions performed would hardly be significantly affected by the ban of IDX, which is, moreover, almost never used in other developed countries.

The current environment in the Supreme Court leans liberal, with Obama two new candidates following this pattern. Pro-liberal Sonya Sotomayor replaced the vacancy created by the retirement of mainly centrist David Souter, and another female justice Elena Kagan gained the nomination after the retirement of also liberal justice Stevens. 

Beyond the constitutional debate

In broader sense, it can be argued that the liberal side of the Supreme Court clearly prevailed until the end of the 1970s. Until that time it appeared that the war of ideas was over, and that the liberal side won. The liberal revolution, brought on by the Warren court enabled the turnover of about one hundred and eighty degrees on the abortion issues and went beyond the judgments of the Supreme Court as well. Since the Warren Court, the prevailing views of the professional public have changed.[6] At the law schools, the number of those who doubted about the rightfulness of the court’s interpretation of woman’s right to privacy declined to negligible numbers. According to the polls from the beginning of the 1980s,[7] most professors at law schools were liberals, and the left-leaning opinions of Warren and Burger courts became sort of an orthodoxy. It could be even perceived that such a sudden and drastic change of course might seem unnatural and too harsh. Undoubtedly, the liberal shift brought many highly respected and needed measures, as some of those concerning racial discrimination and human rights generally. The shift in the matter of abortion evolved in much more liberal policy that is unprecedented in most of the West-European countries regarded as liberal, though. Of course, the elite students from law schools, who had their formative years in the 1980s, have been enjoying the top influence throughout much of the past two decades until nowadays.

On the other side of the political spectrum, an influential group of conservative thinkers emerged during the 1980s. Their main goal was to revoke some of the major pro-liberal Supreme Court decisions. The group was named Federalist Society, and its members deemed that it was necessary to restore the pure constitutionality of the court’s decisions. For that purpose, they decided not to advocate judicial restraint, as some of the previous conservative lawyers did, but to pursue judicial activism. The harm was already done, and measures to correct the aberration needed to be reinstalled. According to Michael Avery and Danielle McLaughlin, every single federal judge appointed by the two Presidents Bush “was either a member or approved by members of the society.”[8] The Federalist Society encompassed a broad scale of conservative thinkers from evangelic Christians to pure economic liberals. In a report issued in 1988 by the Meese Justice Department of the Reagan administration, they described 15 areas of potential conflict on the Supreme Court including abortion, gay rights, affirmative action and states’ rights. With striking clairvoyance, it outlined an incrementalist strategy for narrowing the right to reproductive choice, and predicted, accurately, that the expansive jurisprudence of personal autonomy, recognized in cases like Roe v. Wade, might eventually lead to the judicial recognition of gay marriage. To counteract these disturbing trends, the report emphasized the importance of selecting the right judges.[9]

The real impact of their policies is hard to assess, since the Society as a whole never pushed any unified action. Their biggest achievements, though, can be probably recognized mostly in the field of protecting private property. Although the abortion issue ranked on the highest degree of importance, there were not many tangible achievements in the Federal sphere until nowadays, notable exception representing cases Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Gonzales v. Carhart. Neither of these rulings actually limited the most controversial part of US abortion legislature – the possibility to perform late abortions, in some states even until the very end of pregnancy. The conservative lawyers’ focus was aimed at strict interpretation of the constitution instead, with its goal banning the abortion squarely, since there is no provision in the constitution which articulates the right to it explicitly. Focusing on the constitutional point of view only results in omitting some of the important aspects of this matter and divides the US public into two camps; pro-life and pro choice only, with little space for the discussion in the middle. Moreover, such uncompromising approach has little chance to attract support especially among the younger generation, which is thus driven directly into the pro-choice camp, seldom aware of the fact how the current legislation does not respond to the modern developed world’s abortion policies. Such stance makes the anti-abortion policies look obsolete and radical, which it, in its pure essence, truly represents.

It is important to mention that the decisions of the Supreme Court never touched the core of the Roe decision and dealt with partial measures instead. For the purpose of the court’s investigation, the rights of an unborn child have never been a matter of the highest importance, and focus was strictly aimed at consequences on woman’s health and compliance with the constitution. Despite the general knowledge and the view which is provided by the US mainstream media (MSM), the current abortion practice in many states is even far more liberal than the original ruling allowed. The focus of the MSM is instead targeted on the restrictions which some of the state’s legislature try to push through to limit the current extremely liberal policies. Such state’s restrictions, mostly represented by requirements of parental and spousal consent or greater oversight of the abortion clinics, does little to curb the extreme provisions of late abortions. More often they are depicted as an embodiment of the radical, out of touch with the reality, Christian offensive. The liberal public has only in mind the pro-life activists’ effort to make abortions illegal and is therefore closed to most of the partial limitations. Furthermore, frequent linkage of the abortion issue to those of gay marriage, stem cell research or backlash against counterceptives, prevents the liberals from any discussion on that topic. The abortions are such a delicate topic that it does not deserve being dealt within a package together with regular conservative social issues, which dilute its relevance and cast its agenda into one basket tagged “social conservative lunacy.”

Pro-Life Agencies

The influence of pro-life agenda is seen as growing by the MSM, with some new organizations emerging in the 21th century. Nevertheless, those agencies have neither chance to impress modern liberal elites, nor can their ideas resonate within the mainstream public. They are usually based on various sectarian beliefs and strict Christian morality, which has little appeal to modern, largely secular, metropolitan youngsters. Additionally, most New England liberals view the recent surge in pro-life activism as one of the forms of the conservative re-awakening brought on by the Tea Party movement, which they generally despise. The quality of the debate further deteriorated after the enormous publicizing and scandalizing of the then Tea Party candidate (2012) Todd Akin, who expressed his disapproval of abortion even in the case of rape, stating that there can be a “legitimate rape,” and that in most cases women’s bodies somehow blocked an unwanted pregnancy.[10] Another 2012 Tea Party Senate candidate Richard Mourdock added fuel to the fire when he publicly shared his wisdom according to which “even if life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.”[11]

One of the oldest and probably the most prominent agency promoting pro-life values National Right to Life Committee[12] is a typical example of an intransigent, rigid Christian organization. Although not directly mentioning the goal of full abortion ban, the intention is clearly identifiable from many statements on its website.[13] The organization directly attacks the cornerstone of democratic achievements, the Obama administration’s health care bill, which makes the potential support of liberal public almost unthinkable.

One of the most frequently mentioned new pro-life organizations, 40 Days for Life describes its mission as “a focused pro-life campaign with a vision to access God’s power through prayer, fasting, and peaceful vigil to end abortion.”[14] Such a proclamation may amuse, but it’s hardly a mission for 21st century, and its chances to strike the goal are close to zero. According to the organization’s website, the evil of abortion can be diminished through religious belief. It is supposed to “put into action a desire to cooperate with God in the carrying out of His plan for the end of abortion.”[15]

Another agency which managed to gather some strength in recent years is Students pro Life. It aims at educating college and university students with special attention to medical and law schools about danger of abortion, and, as its web-page title clearly states, at abolishing it. The group is focused on demonstrating the threats to the dignity of human life including abortion, euthanasia, infanticide, and embryonic stem cell research.[16] Besides that, the group is not particularly friendly to contraception and is virtually unfriendly toward the morning after pill, the second mentioned reflecting the position of a large part of the American public according to the NPR poll.[17] On the other hand, the group is especially out of touch with inducing students to sexual abstinence, which it recommends as the only legitimate way how to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Indeed, the recipe how to end abortion is surprisingly simple: “Individuals are of little value to Planned Parenthood if they are not having sex. If there is no sex, there is no pregnancy. If there is no pregnancy, there is no abortion. If there is no abortion, there is no P-R-O-F-I-T.”[18] Although SPL is the largest youth pro life organization, its message has only chance to succeed at minority of students, although it probably raises its chances by not linking itself to any religious agenda.

Secular pro Life (SPL) is an agency focusing solely on the pro-life atheists, agnostics and humanists.[19] It represents a rare example of strictly non-religious anti-abortion group. Among the groups reviewed, SPL is characteristic with its relatively realistic view on the issue discussed. Although it promotes, similarly as the above mentioned, end of abortion, it still leaves some space for discussion by not being too radical for example in the case of pregnancy which resulted from rape. SPL also pursues quite reasonable approach to implementation of the desired goal, which shall be based on incremental limitations. Nevertheless, the organization mentions the ban on late term abortions only after parental consent, waiting periods and health and safety regulations. Since the SPL believes that, biologically, human beings begin at fertilization, it supports the use of contraception that prevents it.

Another notable group is Feminists for Life in America, which particularly emphasizes its kind and gentle image. They tried to build this image by mailing the abortion clinics about the necessity to provide the aborted women with better post-intervention treatment. However, they manage to kill any chance of being taken seriously by official statement that “women who have abortions are trying to be like men by denying their maternal instincts.”[20]

One of the typically radical Christian groups, which are discerned by the MSM with ill-concealed glee, is the Kansas based Operation Rescue organization. Although dangerous in its inflammatory rhetoric, it hardly represents any genuine threat to the current abortion practice. Its main target are the abortionists (doctors who perform abortions) and their clinics, which are depicted as Devil’s deputies on earth. The agency’s proclamation that the abortion providers are the demons who need to be defeated, ie. identified, tracked down and made to “repent of the innocent blood they have shed,”[21] speaks for itself.

Abortion in Context

To summarize the facts, there is no specific relevant US organization which would base its agenda on limiting the extremely disputable and dangerous late abortions. The pro-life organizations intent to use such a ban only as one of the steps to a flat ban, which automatically prevents the support of the mainstream public. Such stance supports further polarization of opinions, leading the US public into two irreconcilable camps with no space for discussion in between. The square abortion ban is highly unlikely to be reached, and, besides that, it would probably not lead to the desired outcome. According to the research performed by the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute, highly restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates. For example, the abortion rate is 29 per 1,000 women of childbearing age in Africa and 32 per 1,000 in Latin America; regions in which abortion is illegal under most circumstances in the majority of countries. The rate is 12 per 1,000 in Western Europe, where abortion is generally permitted on broad grounds.[22] However, broad grounds in Western Europe would be perceived as restrictive policies in the US, since European law usually permits abortion up to the end of the first trimester.

In France, which has a long liberal history, an abortion must be performed before the end of the tenth week of pregnancy by a physician in an approved hospital. Beyond the tenth week of pregnancy, it may be performed only if the pregnancy poses a grave danger to the woman’s health or there is a strong probability that the expected child will suffer from a particularly severe illness recognized as incurable.[23] In Germany, an abortion is legal if performed during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and only if the pregnant woman found herself in a “situation of distress and conflict.” The woman also has to receive proper counseling three days before the abortion was performed.[24] In Great Britain, abortion is legal during the first 24 weeks of gestation, which ranks into the category of late abortions, but is not available on woman’s request. In addition, two registered medical practitioners (only one in an emergency) certify that the required medical grounds as set forth in the Abortion Act of 1967 have been met.[25] Spain permits abortion without restrictions until the 14th week of pregnancy but seriously considers tightening the measure. In Italy, since 1978 when abortion was legalized, it is available on demand until the end of the third month of pregnancy. In Poland, abortion is illegal for decades, only allowing inducement in emergency cases. The above mentioned provisions would be judged as a clear breach of right to privacy in the Supreme Court interpretation in the US and therefore deemed unacceptable. In many US states, abortion practice could be compared to that of China, where the criminal law does not contain any provisions under which abortion, performed with the consent of the pregnant woman, constitutes an offense.

For comparison, nine US states and the District of Columbia (Alaska, Colorado, D.C., Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, West Virginia) do not have specific laws prohibiting abortion after a certain point in pregnancy.[26] In those states with population of 28 million, the abortion can be induced until the very end of pregnancy, ie. 40 weeks and later if the pregnancy is prolonged. New Mexico recently rejected late abortions ban (after 20 weeks) leaving no limitations on abortion. Organization Planned Parenthood was one of the major campaign contributors against the limitation. Another three states of population of 36 million (Iowa, Texas, Virginia) allow abortions until 28 weeks of pregnancy. In Texas, a requirement for abortion providers to have hospital admit privileges, was ruled unconstitutional in October 2013. Again, it was a victory of Planned Parenthood, which launched a campaign depicting the proposed law as extremely restrictive, and most media followed that message. Vast majority of states encompassing population of 190 million induce abortions until 24 to 26 weeks of pregnancy, that is mostly after viability. Only North Dakota has, from the European point of view, strict abortion legislative, allowing abortion only until the 6th week of pregnancy, which is the time when a fetal heartbeat can first be detected. Arkansas is currently the only US state which adopted the first trimester threshold. Another ten states allow abortion between 20th and 22nd weeks of pregnancy.

Late abortion is usually classified after the 16th week of pregnancy. This is the time when some percentage of women can already feel that the baby moves, and the pregnancy is clearly visible in most cases. According to the only accessible comprehensive poll on late abortions by Guttmacher Institute from the year 1987 performed in the US,[27] the biggest percentage of women (71%), who came to have abortions at the clinics, reported that they didn’t recognize they were pregnant or misjudged gestation. Of those 71%, 50% didn’t feel physical changes and 50 % hoped they were not pregnant. 48% women found it hard to make arrangements for abortion, 33% were afraid to tell her partner or parents, 24% reported that it took time to decide to have an abortion. Various other reasons composed tens of percent, most of them considering their relationships or lack of information. Only 2% of women stated that a fetal problem was diagnosed late in pregnancy. Although the Guttmacher Institute is a pro-choice institution, its findings plainly depict that the main reason for women to obtain abortion in late pregnancy is that they (a) ignored the signs of pregnancy, (b) knew that they were pregnant but had time enough, and nothing pressured them to make the decision in the earlier stages of pregnancy.

Conclusion

Abortion opinion is one that is remarkably stable, both at the individual level as well as in the aggregate. The issue has also determinant power to influence political behavior. Despite some modernizing attempts in 1990s, most members of the Republican Party remain in the tenets of rigid pro-life philosophy, condemning most partial solutions. On the other hand, despite the influence of Catholic Christians on the Democratic Party, the party of the red-blue donkey vigorously rejects discussion on the potential modification of abortion law. Abortion issue has a potential to incite individuals to take extraordinary political actions, far larger than could be predicted on the basis of standard political behavior.[28] Although there is little new medical information, the debate continues in a heated manner, and none of the two groups lessen its advocacy. The media and major polls only reignite the conflict by tabloidizing the issue and contributing to further polarization. Although it is matter of fact that majority of states have extremely liberal abortion policies, the MSM campaign relentlessly against any new proposals to restrict the legislation. From the European perspective, the abnormal benevolence toward late abortions on woman’s request only, with no medical grounds, is unjustifiable. Since the baby is able to live outside the womb since 24 weeks and is fully developed at 35 weeks, it is therefore a matter of simple logic that a perfectly viable being can feel some pain when its limbs are being cut off. It is also worth noting that the titles of MSM never focus on the fact that so many states induce abortion without any limitation. Instead, the states which base their policies at least on a little more respect to the unborn are depicted as victims of right wing populists.

On the other hand, religious radicals provide the MSM with a cheap munition. Instead of concentrating on defamation of abortionists and their clinics, and preventing women from obtaining abortion under any circumstances, they should take a more moderate stand and, above all, focus on late abortion ban. Otherwise they will never become partners for serious discussion. Perhaps, the Christian pro-life community should give up their “justifiable homicide” doctrine. They should cease to depict the abortionists as those who prey on desperate, frightened women to kill their babies and make a fortune. Although not all anti-abortion activists pursue such a rhetoric, unfortunately, they are the most heard and most publicized. Neither side of the conflict can be under current circumstances able to trust information coming from the opposite camp. The pro-life movement is composed mainly of Protestant fundamentalists and orthodox Catholics, although various sects and other religious groups are amply represented as well. The lack of interaction between the religious activists and pro-choice liberals further widens the gap. The heated dispute, which takes place for more than forty years, has brought little progress, and both sides remain firmly entrenched in their extreme positions. Through all those decades, no relevant, trustworthy and non-aggressive movement with realistic goals, has emerged within the pro-life camp.

 

Sources

Notes

[1] PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF SOUTHEASTERN PA. v. CASEY, 505 U.S. 833 (1992) http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=CASE&court=US&vol=505&page=833 retrieved Jan. 8, 2014

[2]          Toobin, The Nine, p. 19

[3]          In the US known as Partial Birth Abortion; This procedure, used from the 5th month of pregnancy, takes three days to complete, has prompted controversy because of its particularly brutal nature. The abortionist begins by dilating the woman’s cervix for two days. On the third day, the abortionist pulls the baby through the birth canal feet first, leaving only the head inside. The abortionist then punctures the base of the skull with surgical scissors, inserts a tube and vacuums out the brain tissue, causing the skull to collapse. The procedure hardly ever used and it takes place only used in critical cases when the pregnancy endangers life of the woman. Source: http://www.abortionabout.com/thirdtrimesterabortion.html retrieved Jan. 10, 2014

[4]          The procedure has had a low rate of use, representing 0.17% (2,232 of 1,313,000) of all abortions in the United States in the year 2000, source: Guttmacher Institute http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3500603.html retrieved Jan. 10, 2014

[5]          G. J. Annas, The Supreme Court and Abortion Rights, In: The New England Journal of Medicine, May 24, 2007, http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMhle072595 retrieved Jan. 10, 2014

[6]          J. Toobin, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. Doubleday, 2007, p. 14

[7]          Ibidem, p. 15

[8]          J. Rosen, Packing the Courts, in: NYT May 10, 2013http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/12/books/review/the-federalist-society-by-michael-avery-and-danielle-mclaughlin.html?pagewanted=all retrieved Jan 9, 2014

[9]          Ibid.

[10]         J. Eligon, M. Schwirtz, Senate Candidate Provokes Ire With ‘Legitimate Rape’ Comment, in: NYT, Aug. 19, 2012 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/20/us/politics/todd-akin-provokes-ire-with-legitimate-rape-comment.html?_r=0 retrieved Jan. 13, 2014

[11]         F. Clines, Richard Mourdock on God’s Intentions, in: NYT, Oct. 24, 2012,http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/richard-mourdock-on-gods-intentions/ retrieved Jan. 13, 2014

[12]         James Bopp, one of the leading personalities of the Federalist Society works as a general council to the organization.

[13]         National Right to Life Committee official website http://www.nrlc.org/ retrieved Jan 11, 2014

[14]         40 Days for Life official website, http://www.40daysforlife.com/about.html retrieved Jan. 11, 2014

[15]         Ibid.

[16]         Students pro Life official website http://studentsforlife.org/about/mission-statement/ retrieved Jan. 12, 2014

[17]         Poll: Americans Favor Age Restrictions On Morning-After Pill http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/10/16/235384057/americans-favor-age-restrictions-on-morning-after-pill?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=share&utm_campaign= retrieved Jan 12, 2014

[18]            Students for Life for Life official website, http://studentsforlife.org/a-b-s-t-i-n-e-n-c-e/ , retrieved Jan. 12, 2014

[19]         Secular pro Life official website, http://www.secularprolife.org/#!mission/c13dm retrieved Jan. 12, 2014

[20]         Justifying Homicide, Christian terrorists target abortion providers, in: Off Our Backs, July 1995, accessible at www.jstor.org

[21]         Ibid. p. 9

[22]         Facts on Induced Abortion Worldwide, Guttmacher Institute, http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_IAW.html

[23]         United Nations research on worldwide abortion policies: France www.un.org/esa/population/publications/abortion/doc/france1.doc retrieved Jan. 12, 2014

[24]            United Nations research on worldwide abortion policies: Germany www.un.org/esa/population/publications/abortion/doc/germany.doc retrieved Jan. 12, 2014

[25]         United Nations research on worldwide abortion policies: United Kingdom, www.un.org/esa/population/publications/abortion/doc/unitedkingdom.doc retrieved Jan.12, 2014

[26]         Abortion Restrictions in States, in: NYT, June 17, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/06/18/us/politics/abortion-restrictions.html?_r=1& retrieved Jan. 12, 2014

[27]         Women could choose more reasons for having abortion. The sample is composed of 420 women who had been pregnant for 16 or more weeks of total 1,900 questioned. Source: A. Torres and J. D. Forrest, Why do Women have Abortions, in: Family Planning Perspectives (The bimonthly research journal of The Alan Guttmacher Institut), 20 (4) Jul/Aug 1988, pp 169-176, http://www.holysmoke.org/fem/fem0543.htm retrieved Jan. 13, 2014

[28]         T. Jelen, C. Wilcox, Causes and Consequences of Public Attitudes Toward Abortion: A Review and Research Agenda, in: Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 4, Dec. 2003, p. 489 available at www.jstor.org