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Frank I. Michelman, Norman Redlich, Stephen R. Neuwirth & Denise Carty-Bennia, Brief for 885 Law Professors in Support of Maintaining Adherence to the Roe Decision, 15 Am. J.L. & Med. 197 (1989).

Abstract: This brief opposes the overturn of "Roe v. Wade" and resists weakening "Roe's central holding" that would allow states to overturn legal abortion. The brief was written for 885 law professors. "Roe" was not a "constitutional aberration," or "an exercise of raw, judicial power." Some members of the Supreme Court seem to think that the state has "an overriding interest" in protecting fetal life. Some Court members have questioned "Roe's" trimester framework. A person's decision to abort should be done privately. If women are not free to choose abortion, they will not have equality. There is an absence of "express rights of privacy and procreational freedom" in the Constitution. "Roe" was 1 instance of the Court's recognition of constitutional rights that are not named explicitly. Historical materials are drawn on to show the link between trends in society and the "judicial recognition of unenumerated rights." The most serious questions about "Roe" deal with its trimester framework. Justice Blackmun's majority opinion said that the 1st trimester of pregnancy was personal. "Roe" said that abortions created a medical risk at the beginning of the 2nd trimester. Therefore, the government was more interested in the health of the mother at that time. The state could then regulate abortion "in ways that are reasonable related to maternal health." The start of the 3rd trimester was when the fetus was viable. The right of a woman to end her pregnancy "offends powerful moral forces." Some of "Roe's" critics had their scientific facts wrong. Medical authorities think Justice O'Connor is mistaken when she says that "Roe" is "on a collision course with itself." The 23rd to 24th week of pregnancies where the fetal organs can "sustain life outside the womb." This has not changed since "Roe" was decided in 1973, nor is it likely to in the future. Some "amici" believe that the state can never have an interest in the fetus. The state can not have an interest in the fetus distinct from the woman who will give birth to it. During previability, restricting a woman's procreational rights would not be scientifically supportable. The state does have an interest in "upholding the value of human life." "Roe" is "within the mainstream" of constitutional jurisprudence and should be reaffirmed.