12.6 Implied Rights
According to the Ninth Amendment which reads: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people," there is a general reservation of fundamental rights to the people. Thus some rights are not stated clearly in the Constitution. This amendment does not specify which rights are protected by the Constitution and hence it leaves room for a number of possibilities.
12.6a The Right to Privacy
It was considered that a constitutional right to privacy may be implied from the Ninth Amendment. In the case of Griswold versus Connecticut (1965), the court stated that a state could not make it a crime for married couples to use birth control devices because the state didnít have the right to intrude into the privacy of the marital state. Unmarried persons were also granted the same right eventually.
There is considerable discussion on the issue of privacy. For
example, some job applicants and players on the athletic teams of
high schools, now have to be tested for drugs. After the concern
over AIDS in the 1980s as well as doubts regarding it being a contagious
disease, employers faced lawsuits over invasion of privacy, for
asking questions regarding the sexual orientation of their employees.
12.6b The Abortion Issue
Abortion was considered to be illegal in the U.S. up to 1973. However in the case of Roe versus Wade the Supreme Court upheld the right of a woman to obtain an abortion, as part of he right to privacy. However several limitations were placed on this right. Though the woman and her doctor can decide the issue of abortion in the first trimester, the state could intervene and restrict it in the second trimester and regulate or ban it altogether in the third trimester. This issue also opened up further debates regarding the rights of an unborn fetus, the question as to what point fetal rights can be claimed, as well as whether the motherís health or the fetusís right to life should be given more importance.
Additional limitations on abortions have been upheld by the court recently. These include state and federal statutes that impose cuts on public funds giving facilities for performing abortions. Laws requiring parent notification for abortion of a minor have also been passed. Violent discussions for and against abortions have taken place among conservative religious and political groups.