i uploaded the cases 9 and 10 on the bottom on files.
there’s two cases only use your OWN words don’t use sources, the two cases talk about abortion case. Whenever you quote or paraphrase one of these sources, use a parenthetical citation. However, you should not summarize the case study you are writing about. Instead, assume that your reader is already familiar with the case study. the paper should be highly polished. Pay close attention to spelling, grammar, punctuation, organization, insightfulness of analysis, and the like.
- Your grade will be determined by the following:
- How well you follow the directions on these guidelines.
- How well you understand the relevant course reading and lectures.
- How clearly and effectively you defend your own view, and how clearly and effectively you refute opposing views.
- How original your thought is.
- How good your spelling, grammar, punctuation, and the like are.
Case Study 9 Miss Sherri
Sherri Finkbine of Phoenix, Arizona, is best known for two things. First, in the early 1960s she
hosted the Phoenix version of the popular children’s television program Romper Room. The
purpose of the show was to teach kindergarten-age children how to be polite and well behaved.
The children who appeared on the show addressed Finkbine as Miss Sherri (even though
Finkbine was married), and Miss Sherri introduced the children to Mr. Do-Bee (a man in a
bumblebee suit who embodied how children should behave) and Mr. Don’t-Bee (a man in a
bumblebee suit who exemplified how children shouldn’t behave). The second thing Finkbine is
known for is the abortion she had in 1962.
Finkbine had already had four children and was in the early stages of her fifth pregnancy. The
pregnancy was normal enough, except that Finkbine suffered from insomnia. Her husband had
recently returned from a trip to Europe and had brought back with him some pills that were
easily available there. Many pregnant women in Europe were taking the pills – the pills eased the
symptoms of morning sickness, and they helped with insomnia. Finkbine started taking the pills
A few weeks later, Finkbine learned that large numbers of European women were giving birth to
seriously impaired children. Some of the children had no arms or legs, or their hands grew
directly out of their shoulders. Others suffered from defects in the eyes, ears, or internal organs.
Many of the children didn’t survive. The cause of the deformities, Finkbine learned, was
thalidomide, a drug that many pregnant women in Europe were taking. Finkbine wondered if the
pills she was taking contained thalidomide. She decided to see her doctor. By then, she had
already taken thirty-six of the pills.
Finkbine’s doctor delivered the bad news. Yes, the pills contained thalidomide and yes, the
probability that Finkbine would give birth to a seriously impaired child was high. The doctor
recommended an abortion; Finkbine agreed. In 1962, abortion was illegal in Arizona, except
when the woman needed an abortion to save her life. Finkbine’s doctor believed that, although
Finkbine’s life wasn’t likely at stake, the three-member medical board of Phoenix would probably
grant her an
abortion, since she had good medical reasons. When she requested a abortion, the medical board
granted it. Finkbine believed she had a duty to share her story, so that other pregnant women
would know not to take thalidomide. She contacted a local newspaper. The editor agreed to tell
her story without using her
name. The headline read “Baby-Deforming Drug May Cost Woman
Her Child Here.” When the story was published, Finkbine was still
pregnant; she hadn’t yet gotten her abortion. Soon the story went national, and Finkbine’s identity
was revealed. Finkbine found herself the target of antiabortion sentiments. One writer said, “I
hope someone takes the other four children and strangles them, because it is all the same thing.”
Another, writing from the perspective of Finkbine’s fetus, said, “Mommy, please dear Mommy,
let me live. Please, please, I want to live. Let me love you, let me see the light of day, let me
smell a rose, let me sing a song, let me look into your face, let me say Mommy.” The official
Vatican newspaper, Il Osservatore Romano, accused Finkbine and her husband of murder.
In the face of the public outcry, Finkbine lost her job hosting Romper Room. In addition, the
medical board of Phoenix reversed its decision. Finkbine wouldn’t be able to get an abortion after
all, at least not in Arizona. Finkbine tried other states where the abortion laws were less
restrictive, but she couldn’t find a doctor who was willing to help her. In the end, she flew to
Sweden and got her abortion there. The Swedish obstetrician informed her that the fetus had no
legs and only one arm, and wouldn’t have survived.
Finkbine’s story raises several moral questions. Is abortion morally permissible when the fetus is
seriously impaired? How serious must the impairment be before an abortion is justified? Suppose
a woman discovers that, if she gives birth, her child will be blind or deaf. Would aborting such a
child be morally acceptable? What if the child would be born with Down syndrome, and
therefore be mentally retarded? What if the child would be born with the Huntington’s gene,
living the first forty or so years of her or his life in good health and only then becoming sick and
dying after another fifteen or twenty years? What if the child would be born with Tay-Sachs
disease, a lipid metabolism disorder that causes death in the first one to four years of life?
As opponents of abortion often point out, even those with serious illnesses or disabilities usually
say they were glad they were born. This suggests, according to opponents of abortion, that life is
a precious gift
– indeed, the most precious gift of all, since it’s a prerequisite for all other gifts one might enjoy.
What makes abortion wrong, opponents of abortion conclude, is that it denies the fetus of this
most precious of gifts.
Some defenders of abortion counter this reasoning with an argument known as the replaceability
argument. Suppose a woman who has four children, as Finkbine did, plans to have one, and only
one, more child. She becomes pregnant with a fifth child and then discovers, again as Finkbine
did, that her fetus has a serious impairment. Now she faces a choice. On the one hand, if she
continues with her pregnancy, she’ll give her fetus the precious gift of life, but she won’t give the
precious gift of life to any more children. On the other hand, if she terminates her pregnancy,
she’ll deny her fetus the precious gift of life, but she’ll go on to have another child, granting this
next child the precious gift of life. In effect, she’ll replace one child with another. Furthermore, in
most cases when a woman aborts an impaired child, her next child is healthier. Surely, according
to the replaceability argument, it’s better to bring a healthy child into the world than an impaired
child. Surely, in a case like this, it’s best to abort the impaired child.
But is a fetus, seriously impaired or otherwise, replaceable? Some things, such as pens, seem
clearly replaceable – when one pen runs out of ink, we replace it with another, and we don’t think
we’ve done anything wrong. Other things, such as our teenaged children, seem clearly
irreplaceable – even if they should lose two legs and an arm, like Finkbine’s fetus, we shouldn’t
kill them and then conceive another, healthier child. According to the replaceability argument,
what makes our teenaged children irreplaceable is that they have a sense of their own future.
They may, for example, have plans to go to college, start their own business, and get married. If
we kill them, they would lose this future that they’re looking forward to. This is why killing them
for the purpose of conceiving another, healthier child is wrong. Fetuses, however, like pens, have
no sense of their future. They don’t look forward to going to college, starting their own business,
or getting married. If we kill a fetus, it doesn’t lose anything that it values. As
such, it is replaceable. Or so the replaceability argument says. Is the replaceability argument
Case Study 10 Roe v. Wade
Norma McCorvey had a tough childhood. Her father left the family when she was thirteen, and
her mother was a violent alcoholic. At age fourteen, after having been raped at a reform school,
McCorvey dropped out of school. Two years later, she got married, but then separated from her
husband when he started beating her. By the time she was twenty-one, she had already given
birth to two children, each having a different father, and she was pregnant with a third child.
The first child was raised by McCorvey’s mother, the second by the child’s father. McCorvey
didn’t want to have a third child; she wanted to get an abortion. But it was 1969, and she was
living in Texas. At that time, abortion was illegal in Texas, except in cases of rape or incest, or
when a woman needed an abortion to save her life. McCorvey claimed – falsely – that she had
been raped, but her scheme fell apart when she
was unable to produce evidence of rape. She considered traveling to California, where the law
was less restrictive, and getting an abortion there, but she didn’t have enough money for that.
Finally, she attempted to visit an illegal abortion clinic in Dallas, but that didn’t work either,
because authorities had already shut the clinic down. McCorvey appeared to be out of options.
That was when two lawyers – Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington
– approached her. Coffee and Weddington hoped to file a class-action lawsuit that would
challenge the constitutionality of the Texas abortion law. To file the lawsuit, they needed a
plaintiff. They asked McCorvey if she’d be willing to be the plaintiff. The only condition was
that McCorvey not get an abortion before the case was decided – if she did, the court might rule
that the case was moot and thus do nothing to change the law. McCorvey agreed to the terms.
Unfortunately for McCorvey, the case dragged on – she gave birth to a girl, which she gave up
for adoption. Eventually, in December 1971, when the girl was two years old, the case came
before the United States Supreme Court. The case was Roe v. Wade. McCorvey, assigned
the name Jane Roe to protect her privacy, found herself involved in what would be one of the
most famous court cases of all time.
The Supreme Court handed down its landmark 7-2 decision on January 23, 1973. Ruling against
the Texas law, the majority of the justices declared that women have a constitutional right
abortion. Before Roe, it was up to each state whether or not to allow abortions. Some states did,
but most, like Texas, didn’t extreme circumstances such as rape. After Roe, however, all states
had to allow abortions – though states could still place certain restrictions on abortion. except in
to get an
To reach its decision, the Court addressed three questions: 1) Does a woman seeking an abortion
have a right to privacy? A right to privacy is a right to do something without interference from
the state. In the United States people’s right to privacy is extensive, but it’s also limited. Thus, I
may get drunk, but I may not drink and drive. I may smoke, but I may not puff smoke in other
people’s faces. I may view pornographic materials, but I may not view child pornography. What,
then, about a woman who wishes to terminate her pregnancy? Should she be allowed to do so
without interference from the state? The Supreme Court admitted that, just as the state has a
legitimate interest in protecting people from drunk drivers and secondhand smoke and
pedophiles, so it has a legitimate interest in protecting fetuses. It has this interest because fetuses
represent the future of society and the state has a legitimate interest in the future of society. But
does the state’s interest in protecting fetuses carry greater weight than a woman’s desire to
terminate her pregnancy, or does a woman’s desire to terminate her pregnancy carry greater
weight than the state’s interest in protecting fetuses? According to the Court, the answer depends
on whether the fetus is viable. A fetus is said to be viable if it can be removed from the womb
and still survive, either with or without the aid of machinery, such as respirators. The Court
determined, then, that a woman seeking an abortion has a right to privacy, but only before her
fetus is viable. Once the fetus becomes viable, the state’s interest in protecting the fetus takes
precedence. (In 1973 a fetus became viable around twenty-six weeks after conception, or at the
beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy. Today, thanks to improved technology, the point at
which fetuses become viable occurs earlier in pregnancy – some fetuses are viable as early as
weeks after conception, and most are viable twenty-four weeks after conception.) 2) Is abortion a
medically safe procedure for the woman? To answer
the second question, the justices of the Supreme Court turned to the considered judgments of
physicians. Physicians reported that, during the first trimester of pregnancy, abortion is
reasonably safe, but is only sometimes safe thereafter. The Court accepted this view. (Today
abortion is somewhat safer than it was in 1973: less than 1% of women who have abortions
experience major complications, and the probability of a woman dying from an abortion is
eleven times lower than the probability of a woman dying from childbirth, although the exact
risk of death associated with abortion increases as the pregnancy continues. If an abortion is
performed within the first eight weeks of pregnancy, the risk of death is one in a million; if it is
performed more than twenty weeks after conception, the risk of death is one in 11,000.)
3) Is a fetus a person? According to the Court, this question is the most important of the three.
For suppose it turns out that a fetus is a person. Since the Constitution accords all persons a right
to life, a fetus would have a right to life, and, since an abortion would kill the fetus, an abortion
would violate the fetus’ right to life. Thus, if a fetus is a person, the Court would have had to rule
against abortion rights – no matter how the Court answered the first two questions. But is a fetus
a person? The Court noted that the experts on this question – doctors, theologians, and
philosophers were divided. Some insisted that a fetus is a person, while others were equally
convinced that a fetus isn’t a person. Since the experts had yet to reach a consensus, the Court
concluded that, at least for the time being, the answer to the third question is unknown. The
Court therefore felt compelled to base its decision solely on the answers it gave to the first two
questions. (The question whether a fetus is a person continues to be controversial in the twentyfirst century. Doctors, theologians, and philosophers are no closer to reaching a consensus.)
The Court summed up its decision as follows. A woman has an absolute right to get an abortion
during the first trimester of her pregnancy. After the first trimester but before the fetus is viable,
the only grounds the state can have for preventing an abortion is if the attending physicians
determine that an abortion would put the woman’s life or health at risk. Once the fetus is viable,
though, the state may refuse to allow an abortion.
For a decade after Roe v. Wade, Norma McCorvey remained McCorvey’s Conversion
anonymous and poor. Without even a high school education, she the 1980s she revealed to the
public that she was Jane Roe. She received a flurry of attention and got a job at a women’s clinic.
In 1994, with the help of a coauthor, she wrote about her life in I Am Roe.
Then came an astonishing turn of events. Operation Rescue, antiabortion organization, set up an
office in Dallas, next to the women’s clinic where McCorvey worked. McCorvey unsympathetic
to Operation Rescue’s activities, but eventually, while was initially taking cigarette breaks, she
befriended Philip Benham, a preacher who worked with Operation Rescue. Benham persuaded
her to attend church, and she soon converted to Roman Catholicism. On August 8, 1995, in a
backyard pool in Dallas, she was baptized. Shortly after, she publicly announced that she was
now opposed to abortion. an
In 1998, with the help of another coauthor, McCorvey wrote a second book, Won by Love. In
this book, she explained what led her to become an antiabortionist:
I was sitting in O.R.’s [Operation Rescue’s] offices when I noticed a fetal development poster.
The progression was so obvious, the eyes were so sweet. It hurt my heart, just looking at them. I
ran outside and finally, it dawned on me. “Norma,” I said to myself, “they’re right.” I had worked
with pregnant women for years. I had been through three pregnancies and deliveries myself. I
should have known. Yet something in that poster made me lose my breath. I kept seeing the
picture of that tiny, 10-week-old embryo, and I said to myself, that’s a baby! It’s as if blinders just
fell off my eyes and I suddenly understood the truth that’s a baby!
In this passage, McCorvey claimed to know what the justices of the Supreme Court claimed not
to know that a fetus, even as young as ten weeks after conception, is a baby, a person. Was
McCorvey right? What is a person? Is a fetus a person? If a fetus is a person, does it follow that
abortion is wrong? Did the Supreme Court reach the right decision in Roe v. Wade, or was its
decision a mistake?
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