Sandra Day O'Connor, Abortion, and Compromise for the Court
January 1, 1989
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SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR, ABORTION, AND COMP'ROMISE FOR THE COURT
The abortion controversy is the product of many issues. Legally, is there a fundamental right to privacy for a woman; is the fetus a person within the meaning of the fourteenth amendment due process clause; legally and morally, is abortion murder; socio-economically, should federal funds be used for abortions; if the abortion right is overturned, is it unjust that the rich will be able to secure safe, ille gal abortions, while the poor will again be forced into back-alley abortions?
These are all important questions; however, the most controversial aspects of the abortion right may be the medically based criteria set down in Roe v. Wade,1 establishing the right and standards for abortion.
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, in a scathing dissent to Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, Inc.,2 said, "The Roe frame work... is clearly on a collision course with itself."3 It is her opin ion that the guidelines for regulation of abortions and the parame ters of the right were illogically and improperly decided. Because of her views, she has become the hope of the factions that vow to over turn Roe v. Wade and the right to choose abortion."
But where does Sandra Day O'Connor really stand on this point? As the most articulate dissenter on abortion and the only woman on the Court, her position is unique. By reason of these distinctions, as the abortion right struggles to remain alive, she will become the