By Laurie Shrage
Shrage argues that Roe v Wade's regulatory scheme of a six-month time span for abortion on call for polarized the general public and obscured choices with probably broader aid. She explores the origins of that scheme, then defends another one--with a time span shorter than 6 months for non-therapeutic abortions--that might win large help had to make felony abortion companies on hand to all girls.
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Additional resources for Abortion and Social Responsibility: Depolarizing the Debate (Studies in Feminist Philosophy)
For under Roe's scheme, the federal and state governments have resorted to withdrawing public funds and imposing parental approval and "informed consent" requirements in order to limit access to abortion on demand—requirements likely to disproportionately affect poor, working-class, young, and rural women. 83 Unfortunately, these women are not free to choose among the available providers. Had states been allowed to impose therapeutic requirements in the second trimester, as under Blackmun's initial scheme, there would have been less of a need to impose the kind of restrictions that Is Roe Viable?
Third, Dworkin fails to show that elective abortions at, say, five months demonstrate a sufficiently serious and responsible attitude toward the taking of human life. Dworkin's claim that at the onset of sentience "a fetus might be said to have interests of its own" seems irrelevant to Dworkin's analysis of the legal and political issues at stake in the abortion debate. For Dworkin has argued that what justifies the government's regulation of abortion is not its duty to protect the fetus's interests or rights, for the fetus is not a person and thus does not have legal rights.
Dworkin argues that the public is confused about the political and legal basis for restricting abortion, and that this, he writes, has poisoned the public controversy about abortion, and made it more confrontational and less open to argument and accommodation. The scalding rhetoric of the "pro-life" movement seems to presuppose the derivative claim that a fetus is from the moment of its conception a full moral person with rights and interests equal in importance to those of any other member of the moral community.