The universal definition of a legal abortion is in terms of the mother’s health or convenience. Few of these definitions mention about the health or life of the fetus, however, they refer to its viability, without any other attempt to define the term, as a standard for when an abortion can be carried out with impunity. Notably, the definitions are objective by the fact that there are specific time parameters set, which abortion cannot be legal outside them. However, there are states such as Alaska and Hawaii, which define an illegal abortion openly. They define that any act that is contrary to the legal definition will definitely be illegal. Something common with all states is that, they give extra instances when abortion may be legal after establishing the viability. The additional instances are usually to save the mother’s life or if severe defects are detected in the fetus.
Another subject that has become controversial in numerous states is the issue of partial birth abortion. This term refers to the abortion in which the individual performing the abortion intentionally or deliberately delivers a living fetus for the purpose of performing a procedure that the individual knows will kill the fetus, goes ahead with the procedure, does away with the fetus, and completes the delivery process. Recent years has seen numerous states limiting or banning the practice of this procedure altogether.
Notably, the regulation of abortion had been left to individual states before 1973. However, things changed in the Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court in 1973. It decided that the Constitution did protect a woman’s right to abort, a right that was to be found in the unstated right to privacy, and from state regulation during the first three months of pregnancy. Besides that, the Court also held that the states had an important, as well as, a legitimate interest into protecting the potentiality of the human life. A common factor is that, the abortion issue has always been revolving around the various states’ consequent attempts at protecting the life that is unborn. After the Roe incident, the Supreme Court has made abortion to be an area of law that is highly unsettled. What is evident is the fact that numerous statutes reflect attempts by states at balancing the right of a woman to decide on abortion with the interest of the states in protecting the life of a fetus.
There are some statutes in the state codes that may become unconstitutional if they are challenged. There are several general areas dealing with the legislation of abortion, as well as, the Supreme Court’s treatment of each. In Parental Consent, states may require that a minor who seeks an abortion have the consent of an older person like a parent or a guardian keeping in mind the presence of an adequate judicial bypass procedure.