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Constitutions Amendments Implications on the Right to Privacy

Beyond the mere gratifying words in the national document termed a legal constitution, constitutional amendments discourse awakes the natural virtue of belonging and freedom in human nature. Human nature allows them to freely participate in various practices as granted in their rights and privileges, which are fundamental to human growth, socialization, and development.

Every person is subject to privacy, as many rights activists claims. Any intention to breach the privacy privilege of one person with the intention of self-gain is prohibited and punishable. According to Taylor & Ralph (n.p), in the United States of America, the constitutional Fourth Amendment repudiates the government’s unreasonable searches and seizure that breaks the personal right to privacy. Therefore, the police should obtain a warrant of search and seizure before conducting any searches. Additionally, the search and seizure must be particularly on who will be seized or searched. For example, in the seminal cases, Riley vs. California and United States vs. Wurie, police, after arresting Riley and Wurie, extended a search to their cellphones without a court warrant and proceeded to look for evidence that may support the case against the arrestees (Taylor & Ralph, n.p). According to Newell et al. (229), Riley, in his assertion, claimed that the Cellphone had a broad base of personal functions and was not worthy of disclosure due to its advanced computability, internet connectivity, and storage capacity. The Supreme Court, in its verdict, clarified that searches and seizures by the police should not be extended to Cellphones as they contain personal information, and doing so breaches the arrestee’s privacy right police, therefore, ought to get a warrant first before searching through the cell phones (Newell et al., 229). Additionally, Fifth Amendment justifies the protection of private information as a providence of the rights against self-incrimination.

Moreover, the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution proscribes the state from establishing any law that invades personal autonomy protection rights based on the preceding amendments. Justice Louis regarded the right to privacy as one of the most valuable rights in the human rights basket (Burt & Andrew, 1-6). Any attempt by the government’s agencies or authorities to violate this right is unjustifiable and disrespectful to the Fourth constitutional amendment. She claims that police departments can only search for information about a particular individual or seize their properties with a valid search warrant that the judge can only grant.

This paper deeply discusses the phenomenal concept of the effects of the constitutional amendments on the enforcement and granting of the right to privacy over the years. The paper integrates the discourse to give a deep understanding of what the US Constitution provides regarding rights to privacy in abortion, contraceptives, publicity, and personalities.

Court Cases Dealing With the Right to Privacy and Abortion.

The liberty guarantee of the fourteenth amendment that promotes the rights of privacy has, over the years, been scrutinized by the supreme court, weighing down how the decisions resulting from the privilege of privacy rights affect procreation, medical treatments, and its termination, child nurturing, and marriages (Hill & Jessie, 471-478). Many Americans supported the claim that the Supreme Court should exercise the broad reading, recognition, and interpretation of the Constitution, not judgments based on specific constitutional clauses. The cases below discuss how privacy rights were affected regarding abortion.

Roe v. Wade Case

In the early 1970s, Roe, a pregnant woman, ignited a fire of constitutional challenge criticizing the fairness of Texas criminal law that denied women rights to access and practice abortion on a personal decision basis except when the mother is in danger and prescribed by the professional medical officer (Soni et al., 287). The claims of Roe were supported by Hallford, who was facing criminal charges for conducting abortion processes. Roe and her acquaintances claimed that abortion decisions are essential as one may not be prepared for parenthood, or pregnancy might result from contraceptive failure. However, Wade, a law defendant, argued that legalizing abortion poses a dire threat to the future of marriages and women’s health impairments.

Upon listening to the case, the judge consolidated a final submission of judgment which contravened the constitutions and gave rise to new controversies. The judge, in the verdict, stated that state laws that restrict the rights of privacy in abortion violate the Ninth and Fourteenth constitutional Amendments rights that were solely established for the people to be comfortable with their mode of living (Whittum et al., 320-323). The abortion right was awarded, and the government was restrained from regulating decisions made by individuals about sexual intimacies.

However, many anti-abortion activists have emerged, and legislators have propelled their efforts by sponsoring the establishment and enactment of the Acts that fight against abortion. The anti-abortion movement achieved a milestone when the Supreme Court recently overturned the constitutional right upheld for almost half a century that allowed abortion to be practiced as a right from Roe vs. Wade case (Kluchin &Rebecca, 380). Legislators in South Caroline in the USA designed a proposal to grant embryos and fetuses equal rights to those of women regardless of the development stage.

Griswold v. Connecticut (contraceptive case, 1965)

The case was introduced to the court to seek an overturning of the 1879 Barnum Act that barred the use of contraceptives and information related to them. Even with the introduction of the oral contraceptive by the Food and Drug Administration, the Barnum Act was still under enactment. The case was introduced following fining of Griswold, who violated the Barnum Act. Griswold and supporters argue that the government cannot invade married couples’ privacy and restrict their access to contraceptives, for that would be violating their rights to plan their birth control (Myers & Caitlin Knowles, 1385-1441). Justice Douglas, in his verdict, said that the government should not regulate privacy for anyone. This verdict gave a stepping stone to significant cases such as Roe vs. Wade. Griswold proposed that the Constitution should create a zone that fully deters the government from attacking the privacy of its citizens. The verdict of this case attracted criticism from Justice Robert, who claimed that right to privacy did not exist, and Justice Douglas misinterpreted the Constitution without following its guidelines.

Parenthood V. Danforth Case

The case sought the validation of the abortion, just as Roe claimed in her case. The plaintiff also argued that it is the personal right of anyone to exercise abortion. The judge dismissed what the Missouri abortion law stated and granted freedom to women to perform abortions (Hill & Jessie, 471-478). However, the married woman who wants to practice abortion must seek her husband’s consent first. The judge added that the minor who happens to be pregnant should seek the parent’s consent before she undertakes abortion practices. The reasons for seeking consent from the minor were not well explained.

Eisenstadt Vs Baird (1972)

The case is rooted in the Griswold case and presses on the need for the Griswold case verdict to be equally exercised by all people. A reproductive rights activist, Baird was sentenced to short-term jail for offering contraceptives to a student during a contraceptive lecture, and the woman happened to be unmarried (Myers & Caitlin Knowles, 1385-1441). When the case was challenged in court, Justice Brennan extended the Griswold verdict explaining that married and unmarried people have equal rights to use contraceptives as the fourteenth amendment claimed equality.

Constitutional Amendments on Rights of Privacy Discourse

Although the right to privacy is practiced, many controversial questions arise on whether the US Constitution provides and protects the right to privacy in ways not captured in the Bill of Rights. A famous judge, Robert Bork, claimed that the right to privacy does not exist, and the court does not have guidelines for such rights as the right lacks substantial meaning (Wuest & Joanna, 964-992). He criticized the decisions made by Justice Douglas in the Griswold v. Connecticut case for ruling out that the Constitution did not safeguard the right to marital privacy when the state-imposed restrictions on contraceptives. According to Wuest & Joanna (964-992), Bork felt that Justice Douglas did not adhere to the providence of the Constitution but focused on the ideas of the rights that surround constitutionalism.

In his draft, Supreme Court associate Samuel Alito agreed that there is a need for privacy rights, and he respected the ruling made by the court on the Roe vs. Wade case (Tanne & Janice Hopkins, 1122). However, he states that other rights may be at risk due to the verdict made on abortion. He further claims that the abortion decision was wrong from the start and that overturning it would save the state as it has, resulting in many damaging consequences. The Roe judgment argued that the abortion right is part of a right to privacy that traces its roots of enforcement from the First, fourth, fifth, ninth, and fourteenth amendments.

According to Schuele & Donna (123-125), Justice Ginsberg formally argued that privacy rights are an alternative to gender equality rights. Further, he claimed that the claims made by Justice Bork on the privacy case expressed how the Supreme Court is willing to limit privacy rights as they claim the Constitution does not provide. The denial of privacy rights on reproduction rights is a blow to the fundamental rights linked to the integration of human production.

Discussion and Analysis of the Cases

Riley and Wurie’s extensive searches and seizure of their phones by detectives were justifiable. The proof found in their crime points, such as Riley in possession of loaded firearms and firing at an occupied vehicle which was an attempted murder, was enough reason for the detective to seek more information that might be a threat to the security. Additionally, Wurie, who was arrested after being surveilled by a detective selling crack cocaine, allowed for a seizure of his phone which led to detectives gaining more evidence to arraign in court. Although the Constitution, through the fourth amendment, guarantees the right to privacy, the fourth amendment does not guarantee protection against reasonable searches. Riley and Wurie’s searches were reasonable, and the court’s decision did not sound to protect the Constitution.

Abortion practices go against the right to life that is awarded to everyone, including the unborn. Abortion is illegal as of today following the overturning of the law that had awarded to as a right. The prime intention of the anti-abortion movement to overturn the decision made during the Roe vs. Wade case and reinstated during the Parenthood vs. Danforth case was substantial to saving human beings’ lineage as life begins from the embryo and the unborn deserve equal rights as the women. I agree with Wade and Alito that it is only the danger of life that abortion is worth as it aims to save a mother’s life. The Supreme Court verdict to render the ‘right to privacy’ denounced the fight against human life, and the Constitution does not support such a metric. Additionally, accepting the minor to practice abortion by parental consent shows support for immorality that the Constitution is against and is not aimed at guaranteeing privacy. Since enactment of abortion law, mortality rate increased and women’s health was threatened.

The continuous upholding of the contraceptive right and regarding it as the general right to privacy for everyone was not a decision of gain to the US culture and society. Today, the use of Contraceptives is supported by the first amendment in the Constitution although the Constitution as a whole does not give full support. As of now, the government is not allowed to invade that right and impose restrictions. Contraceptives save married couples in planning family. However, the contraceptive law has received mass challenges, especially following the court verdict in Eisenstadt v. Baird, as the verdict created a loop of immorality. Both the married and unmarried, including the minors, have used misused the contraceptives law for sexual gains. Also, contraceptive advertisement increased sexual immorality and law makers seeks to overturn the

Criticism of Robert Bork on Judge Douglas’ contraceptive verdict was significant, although he did not believe in the existence of a right to privacy. Banning contraceptives would save the morality of society. The Constitution’s provision should be challenged to limit contraceptives to only married couples with a valid reason for managing procreation.

Work Cited

Burt, Andrew. “Privacy and cybersecurity are converging. Here’s why that matters for people and for companies.” Harvard Business Review 10 (2019): 1–6.

Kluchin, Rebecca. “Punishable by death—how the US anti-abortion movement ended up proposing the death penalty.” bmj 380 (2023).

Myers, Caitlin Knowles. “Confidential and legal access to abortion and contraception in the USA, 1960–2020.” Journal of Population Economics 35.4 (2022): 1385–1441.

Newell, Bryce Clayton, and Bert-Jaap Koops. “From horseback to the moon and back: Comparative limits on police searches of smartphones upon arrest.” Hastings LJ 72 (2020): 229.

Schuele, Donna. “Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue: A Life’s Work Fighting for a More Perfect Union, by Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Amanda L. Tyler.” (2022): 123–125.

Soni, Sakshi. “Roe v. Wade Case and the Abortion Laws in US.” Issue 6 Int’l JL Mgmt. & Human. 4 (2021): 287.

Tanne, Janice Hopkins. “US abortion: Leaked document shows Supreme Court plans to overturn rights.” BMJ: British Medical Journal (Online) 377 (2022): o1122.

Taylor, Ralph. “Warrantless Cell Phone Search and Seizure.” (2019).

Whittum, Michelle, and Rachel Rapkin. “History of Abortion Legislation in the United States.” Journal of Gynecologic Surgery 38.5 (2022): 320–323.

Wuest, Joanna. “A conservative right to privacy: Legal, ideological, and coalitional transformations in US social conservatism.” Law & Social Inquiry 46.4 (2021): 964–992.

Hill, B. Jessie. “Right to Decisional Privacy.” Laws of Medicine: Core Legal Aspects for the Healthcare Professional. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2022. 471–478.


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