Helms School of Government
Constitutionality, abortion, Fourth Amendment, right to privacy
Nerney, John M., "The Constitutionality of Abortion" (2020). Senior Honors Theses. 1011.
The purpose of this study is to determine whether abortion is constitutional under the Fourth Amendment. Essentially, the Supreme Court used what is known as the “right to privacy” which they created using the First, Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Amendments finding penumbras of the Bill of Rights, and in the concept of liberty guaranteed by the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment. This study addresses the history of the right to privacy and tries to show that the Supreme Court stretched the meaning of these Amendments beyond what the founders of the Constitution intended. This study analyzed the application of the Fourth Amendment in the cases of Olmstead v. United States, Griswold v. Connecticut and Katz v. United States, in order to show the evolution of the Fourth Amendment. Using dissenting opinions from the cases this study attempts to show that the so called “right to privacy” is unconstitutional and therefore, the Fourth Amendment does not apply to abortion, thereby making the same unconstitutional. The study did discover that although the Supreme Court has declared abortion Constitutional in the case of Roe v. Wade, strong arguments could be made against its Constitutionality. In so doing, this study tries to show that if no general right to privacy exists, then abortion is unconstitutional.