Footnotes (70)



Built in Obsolescence: The Coming End to the Abortion Debate

Vernellia Randall

The University of Dayton School of Law

Tshaka C. Randall

affiliation not provided to SSRN

March 22, 2008

The current legal and political dispute is grounded in the misconception that the decision to have an abortion is one decision, a decision to terminate a fetus. In fact, in choosing an abortion, a woman is actually making two distinct choices: first, she is choosing to terminate her pregnancy, that is, remove the fetus from her body; and, second, she is choosing to terminate the fetus. Currently, a woman's decision to remove the fetus from her body (the "autonomy decision") is necessarily a medical decision to terminate the fetus (the "reproductive decision"). The current argument in favor of legalized abortion assumes that the woman's autonomy interest is inseparable from the reproductive decision. Over time, medicine will develop to the point where the decisions can be made separately with a live birth of a fetus creating no more risk to the woman than an ordinary abortion. Under those circumstances, the Supreme Court's current abortion jurisprudence offers no legal reason for a woman's interests to be given primacy in the reproductive choice over the reproductive interest of man or the state. For more than thirty years, one side of the abortion debate has argued about a right to life while the other side has argued about right to autonomy. The changing medical technology will allow the law to satisfy both sides. In the future, the law will be able to allow a woman to choose early in the pregnancy not to carry to term while making it illegal to terminate the life of a fetus. A change that will have significant consequences for all parties involved: women, men and the state.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

Keywords: abortion, reproductive

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Date posted: August 22, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Randall, Vernellia and Randall, Tshaka C., Built in Obsolescence: The Coming End to the Abortion Debate (March 22, 2008). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1112367 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1112367

Contact Information

Vernellia Randall (Contact Author)
The University of Dayton School of Law ( email )
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469
United States
937-229-3378 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://academic.udayton.edu/race
Tshaka C. Randall
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
Feedback to SSRN

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