Where Is The "Right to Privacy?"
Students will examine the U.S. Constitution and understand the "penumbra" (or imprecise) nature of the "right to privacy" by attempting to locate this right in the actual amendments to the Constitution. Failing to do so, students will hypothesize which rights from the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment suggest the "right to privacy." They will then read excerpts from Justice Douglas' majority opinion [http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/griswold.html] in Griswold v. Connecticut (1963) and compare their hypotheses to how the Supreme Court defined a "right to privacy."
Where Do Your Representatives Stand?
Students will create a list of their elected officials including their mayor, state senators and/or assembly members, governor, U.S. representative and U.S. senators. Students will then research whether each of these elected official support or oppose abortion. Students will discuss whether the politicians' views reflect their constituents' views on the issue of abortion.
Case Law on Abortion: The Last 40 Years
Students will explore U.S. Supreme Court cases that pertain to abortion to better understand the expansion and restriction concerning this issue. Students can examine the geography behind state laws as well as whether the court's ruling was unanimous or divided. Seven major Supreme Court abortion cases are detailed on the FRONTLINE Web site for The Last Abortion Clinic; the Web site www.oyez.com is a good resource for students to find other relevant cases.