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In the case of Roe v Wade the United States’ Supreme Court reached a decision that most anti- abortion laws violated a person’s constitutional right to privacy. Its effect was that it overturned all the states laws that either outlawed abortion or unduly restricted it. This is one of the most controversial decisions reached by the US Supreme Court and had several implications.
Firstly, the right to make medical decisions was returned to the doctor and the patient. During the first trimester the state could not limit a woman’s’ right to abortion. This was left to the medical judgement of a pregnant woman’s attending physician.
Secondly, the ruling in the Roe vs. Wade case stated clearly that the states did not have authority over the bodily functions of a US citizen. In addition, it established that a foetus did not have the legal status of a US citizen and thus ‘Right to Life’. It thus legalized abortion and further established the inability of the state to restrict access to medical procedures like abortion merely on perceived morality.
Thirdly, steps to reverse this ruling required the foetus to be legally established as human life and thus make it to be equally protected by US Statute in reference to it having a ‘Right to Life’
In the long term, its significance can be argued in terms of the huge amount of persons who were not born as a result of its existence. However, this has been argued to have resulted to a lower rate of crimes. Many of the children in the ruling of Roe vs. Wade, many of the children would have been born to women lacking the capability to care for them properly. As is accepted generally, unwanted children often grow up distressed and take part in crime.
The Hyde amendment was another legislation that was very significant to abortion as it barred the use of specified federal fund to finance abortions. However, this is not a law per-se but it comes in the form of attachment to in yearly appropriation bills since the year 1976. This amendment applies to yearly appropriation bills only allocated to the Department of Human and Health Services. It largely affects Medicaid and it has several implications.
First and foremost, it was effective in ending abortions by poor women who previously got it through Medicaid. This faced opposition from groups such as the National Abortion Federation and the American Civil Liberties Union on the grounds of its unfairness to poor women.
Secondly, it inspired the passing of other provisions barring the financing of abortion to other national health care programs. Restrictions barring abortions were also enacted for persons serving in the U.S military, prisoners and Peace Corps volunteers among other groups.
In conclusion, while the ruling on the case of Roe vs. Wade seemed to encourage abortion while on the other hand the Hyde amendment aimed at reducing.