Abortion is one of the most controversial issues in the world today. Everyone has their own individual opinion. Many people believe abortion is a moral issue, but it is also a constitutional issue. People with a "pro-choice" view believe it is a woman's right to choose what she does with her body, and it should not be altered or influenced by anyone else. This right is guaranteed by the ninth amendment, which contains the right to privacy. The ninth amendment states: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."  This guarantees that women, if they so choose, can have an abortion, up to the end of the first trimester. Regardless of the fact of morals, a woman has the right to privacy and choice to abort her fetus. The people that hold a "pro-life" view argue that a woman who has an abortion is killing a child. They believe that a fetus has a soul and emotions, therefore it is not moral to abort a fetus.

   The state of Texas had outlawed abortions. Jane Roe, a single woman who was residing in Dallas County, Texas, took federal action in March 1970 against the District Attorney of the county. She sought a declaratory judgment that the Texas criminal abortion statutes were unconstitutional on their face, and an injunction restraining the defendant from enforcing the statutes.
   The Supreme Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provided a fundamental right for women to obtain abortions. For the first time in history legalized abortion nationwide, basing its decision on a woman's right to constitutional privacy. The vote was 7 to 2.
   Before Roe v. Wade in 1973, the legality of abortion essentially rested with the legislatures of the several states. However, in 1973, the Supreme Court made it an issue of federal constitutional law by holding that abortion was a constitutional right. From then on, whether abortion was legal or not depended on the Supreme Court's decisions as to how broad the Roe right to abortion actually was. State legislatures continue to have a say only in the little room the Court has left outside the scope of the abortion right.

   Several other cases have been fought for the right to choose. Many of these have been hard cases with very personal feelings, but the perseverance showed through and gives us the rights we have today. 
   During 1965, the case of Griswold v. Connecticut upheld the right to privacy and ended the ban on birth control. Eight years later, the Supreme Court ruled the right to privacy included abortions. Roe v. Wade was based upon this case.
   In 1976, Planned Parenthood v. Danforth ruled that requiring consent by the husband and the consent from a parent if a person was under 18 was unconstitutional. This case supported a woman's control over her own body and reproductive system. Justice William Brennan stated: "If the right to privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwanted government intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision to bear or beget a child."
   In 1977, the Hyde Amendment cut off federal funding for abortions for low-income women. 
   In a 1989 series of Supreme Court votes on Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, the Court gave states unprecedented authority to restrict and/or virtually deny abortion -- just stopping short of reversing Roe v. Wade.
   Gag Rule or Title X Ruling was enforced under President George Bush. The U.S. government prohibited federally funded clinics from giving any information about abortion or referring women to other facilities for abortion services.
   The Court upheld Roe in Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992). The Court gave states new powers to restrict access to abortions.  This decision let states restrict abortions even more by upholding 24-hour waiting periods and mandatory anti-abortion counseling for women seeking abortions.
   In January 1993, the Supreme Court stripped away federal civil rights protections that had been used to protect clinics across the country from fanatical anti-abortion blockades.
   Parental Consent laws require women under 18 to get one or both parents' permission for an abortion. Becky Bell died as a result of Indiana's PL-106.
   The 5 executive orders are one of President Clintons first official acts. He signed five orders on January 22, 1993 reversing the "gag" rule, "Mexico City Policy", bans on fetal tissue research, RU 486 research and abortion services in U.S. military hospitals.
   The Face Bill was signed on May 12, 1994. President Clinton signed into law the first abortion rights legislation in history. The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act imposes severe fines, jail sentences and makes it a potential felony to block access to clinic entrances, intimidate or harrass clinic workers.
   On May 16, 1995, in response to years of letters and petitions generated by the Feminist Majority Foundation and other pro-choice groups, Roussel Uclaf turned over the patent for RU 486 (now known as mifepristone) to the Population Council of the U.S. On July 18, 1996 the FDA Committee on Reproductive Health recommended that the FDA fully approve RU 486 as a method of early abortion. The FDA issued an "approvable letter" on mifepristone in September 1996, with final approval expected in 1997. On April 8, 1997, remaining worldwide patent rights on mifepristone were turned over to Dr. Edouard Sakiz, former Roussel Uclaf CEO, who is committed to making the drug available to women and to expanding research on this medical breakthrough.

   Many people think the battle is "Pro-life vs. Abortion" when in reality it is "Pro-life vs. Pro-choice". As a women who believes in the right to choose, this agrivates me. When I say I am pro-choice this doesn't mean that i want everyone to have an abortion. If one truly feels that they can not have a child, they should be able to have an abortion. If someone thinks abortions are the equivilent of murder they sould not have one.
   The human ovum (egg) is already clearly alive when it enters the fallopian tubes, many hours or days before it has the opportunity to be fertilized. Women release one about each month between puberty and menopause - a few hundred in a lifetime. Almost all of these are destined to die and be ejected from the body. Unless infertility is a problem, very little thought is given to these hundreds of deaths. Although the ovum is a form of life, there is a public consensus that it is not human life. 
   Hundreds of millions of male sperm are liberated during a typical sexual encounter. They are also clearly alive. Viewing them under a microscope reveals them to be energetic swimmers. Essentially all of these will die within days. Again, if infertility is not a concern, little attention is given to these deaths. An average man produces thousands of sperm a second. At most, a very few during his lifetime will contribute to the formation of a baby. The rest will die. Few men are consciously aware of the loss. Sperm are very much alive and kicking. But, again, a public consensus exists that they are not human life.