Pregnancy vs. The Right to Privacy

Generally, people believe that their medical issues should be a matter of personal concern and thus, are related to the right to privacy. In connection with that, what can be said about women’s pregnancy, does it qualify as a case of the right to privacy? This report has its purpose to argue on whether women should retain their right to privacy even when they are pregnant.

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Through the years, two contradictory positions as to the issue of pregnancy vs. the right to privacy were actively lobbied. First of them is the pro-privacy side arguing that courts, doctors, and any other representatives of authorities do not have a right to dictate the nature of pregnancies to women. The second side is the anti-privacy one, and its supporters argue that the fetus has greater rights than the mother.

Speaking about the first side’s position, it should be stated that women want to establish their right to privacy related to pregnancy and abortion. The landmark decision in the case of Roe v. Wade established the right of women to safe abortion in clinical conditions as their right to privacy. The opinion of the court for the case was delivered with the words, “a woman’s right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision” (Nedeau 2008). The major flaw in the position of this site is the question of whether or not the fetus may be considered to be a person and thus has the right to life:

We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer (Nedeau 2008).

The key ground for such a position is the economical concern of women; they argue that no woman will try to stop her pregnancy unless she has significant economical reasons (Cline 2011). To ensure the position of this side the government should adopt the laws establishing the women’s right to privacy including any health issues along with pregnancy.

Speaking about the second side’s position, the main idea behind their arguments is that the fetus is a human being with the same rights and freedoms as any other one. There were numerous court cases supporting this position including the most resonant ones of Maher v. Roe, Harris v. McRae, Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Stenberg v. Carhart, and Gonzales v. Carhart (Nedeau 2008). In addition, there were made significant efforts to challenge reproductive rights by the Bush Administration. In 2003 The Unborn Victims of Violence Act became the first ban of abortion by the government since the case of Roe v. Wade (Taylor 2004). The main idea behind the position of this site is based on the biblical truth that a fetus is an unborn person, and abortion is murder. This position is also my position as I believe nothing may threaten the sacred gift of life. To ensure this position the government should adopt the laws establishing the fetus as a human with equal rights.

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Concluding on the above-mentioned facts and evidence, it should be stated that the issue of the right to privacy while pregnant is a very difficult and controversial one. I believe the fetus is a human being with the right and freedoms not to be violated by anyone. However, women have a right to privacy and they should realize it on the stage when they may prevent unwanted pregnancy by all means.

References

Cline, A. (2011). Is a Woman’s Pregnancy the Government’s Business? Web. 

Nedeau, J. (2008). The Right to Privacy: Roe v. Wade. Change.org. Web. 

Taylor, D. (2004). Does a fetus have more rights than its mother? The Guardian. Web. 

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