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1985 BYU L. Rev. 371 (1985)


In the mid-1970s the high courts of several western democracies handed down constitutional decisions concerning the legal regulation of abortion. All of the courts sustained their abortion statutes except the United States and West Germany, which moved in opposite directions. The US Supreme Court voided the conservative abortion statutes of various states while West Germany's highest court nullified an abortion statute that took a liberal stance on abortion. The extended opinions of the American and German courts and their contrasting grounds for decision make them fitting candidates for a comparative analysis of abortion jurisprudence. The abortion issue illustrates the tension between liberty and community in a constitutional polity. An analysis different perspectives of liberty and community in German and American constitutional law suggests a shift in the US in recent years, distinguishing it from Germany, with community becoming subordinate to liberty.


Reprinted with permission of the Brigham Young University Law Review.



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