The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights obligates States to safeguard the right to life and such obligation has been expanded to undertake measures that safeguards women prevent unwanted pregnancies. The expansion of such obligation also requires states to ensure that in order to prevent such unwanted pregnancies women are not subjected to unsafe abortions that are likely to jeopardize their lives. International law has stipulated provisions that assure that women are entitled to their right to the “highest attainable standard of physical and mental health”. The right to health includes right of women to exercise control over their body which further entails their reproductive and sexual freedom. Therefore, their right to health can be construed as an obligation upon the governments to undertake reasonable measures that ensures women have relevant information to make reproductive decisions that is, whether they would continue with pregnancy (Human Rights Watch: Women's Human Rights: Abortion. (2018).
The right of women to make an independent decision regarding abortion has been subjected to numerous controversies. From the human rights perspective, international statutes have entitled women to the right to take decisions about her pregnancy and any denial of such rights may result in numerous human rights violations. Women have a right to access safe and legal abortion procedures without any interference. In the USA, the landmark decision in Roe v Wade have set a precedent for ensuring protection to all women who seeks termination of their pregnancies. The case established the freedom of choice for women that have confined the rights to legislators to have access to legal abortion (Human Rights Law and Access to Abortion, 2018).
The case has extended the Federal protection of the rights of women to terminate pregnancy based on the constitutional right of citizens to privacy. However, the decision given in Roe v Wade requires to strike a balance between interest of the state to protect potential life of the unborn and the strength of privacy. Thus, it leads to an incessant debate in determining whether right conferred upon women to terminate pregnancy would be advantageous or it will end the life of the foetus. Restrictions on accessibility to abortion is justified to certain extent that is, abortion should take place during earlier 12 weeks of gestation and that if there is a defect in foetus that might affect the mother, abortion is mandatory under such circumstances (Human Rights Law and Access to Abortion, 2018).
In 2015, California, one of its anti-abortion pregnancy centers has been required by law to provide clients with information about contraception that is publicly financed, family-planning services and abortion. The state officials required California women to be informed about reproductive services irrespective of their source of income (Sacchetti et al., 2018). The challengers argued that it was unconstitutional to force centers that counter abortion and post notices that encourage women to obtain information regarding abortions at low expenses. These cases turning on the First Amendment often becomes proxies for the larger thus, enduring the debate over the right of woman to terminate pregnancy.
More recently, in 2017, South Carolina Governor issued an executive order that blocks public funding for medical practices or physicians associated with abortion clinics. Various agencies, medical entities and clinics in South Carolina obtain funds from the taxpayer to provide services that ensures good health of women and provide family planning services.
Further, in October 2017, the legal suit brought against a teenage girl who was an illegal immigrant and while in detention, she was detected to be pregnant. She wanted abortion but was denied by the Trump administration. However, after an appeal, the decision was made in her favor and she terminated her pregnancy as she was not ready for the child. The case demonstrated uncertainty in the government’s action about blocking the undocumented teens within its custody from having abortion (Sacchetti et al., 2018).
Despite the landmark cases on abortion that promoted the rights of women to terminate their pregnancy, still today, they are mostly prevented from taking independent decisions about ending their pregnancy, partly, in the name of their health and partly due to other socio-economic or political reasons.
The debates on women’s right to abortion have been a significant concern since time immemorial and the timeline marks the rulings on the controversial issue. In 1976, Congress passed the Hyde Amendment that prohibited Medicaid and other relevant Federal funds for providing health plans regarding abortions in the case of Harris v McRae . This has been the case in South Carolina as well where taxpayer funding have been prohibited from being used by clinics or agencies that facilitates abortion and other health services.
Although in Roe v Wade  the Supreme court upheld the right of women to make decision about continuing or terminating her pregnancy, but, it still was unable to implement the right completely. In 1821, Connecticut was the first state to prohibited abortion after movement of foetus is observed in the body of women, a process, which is known as ‘quickening’.
The cultural atmosphere in the modern era is worse than it was prior to the decision obtain in Roe v Wade, in the context of women rights to abortion (Human Rights Law and Access to Abortion, 2018). Earlier, abortion was performed when it was considered as illegal but was considered necessary even as per law and the clergy. Nevertheless, today, abortion is legal still the supporters are working in a climate where the procedure is subjected to risk of prosecution and persecution. Harsh penalties and threats do not prevent women from undergoing abortion. For years, the pattern of unnecessary death focuses on two things, namely, abortion and gun violence. T
However, the landmark decisions empowered women to exercise their free choice over reproduction including their right to a legal and safe abortion. as a step towards prevention of abortion, the Lowa lawmakers have attempted to pass a Bill that states “life starts of conception”. This Bill aims at providing the fertilized eggs with the protection and rights under the US Constitution (Human Rights Watch: Women's Human Rights: Abortion, 2018). However, this Bill has also been subjected to several criticisms such as it would put a ban on the birth control contraception.
Therefore, it can be argued that the notion of abortion is a highly sensitive topic that influences deeply held opinions. While the country attempts to prevent abortion by proposing to provide fertilized eggs with constitutional rights, at the same time, denial of abortions is being described as a disgraceful government action. Under such circumstances, it is only appropriate to facilitate women to exercise their right to terminate pregnancy while restricting the right only under justified grounds, thus, balancing the rights of the women and the foetus.
Harris v McRae  448 U.S. 297
Human Rights Watch: Women's Human Rights: Abortion. (2018). Hrw.org. Retrieved 28 April 2018, from https://www.hrw.org/legacy/women/abortion/us.html
Manninen, B. A., & Mulder Jr, J. (2018). Introduction. In Civil Dialogue on Abortion (pp. 11-20). Routledge.
Q&A: Human Rights Law and Access to Abortion. (2018). Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 28 April 2018, from https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/07/24/qa-human-rights-law-and-access-abortion
Roe v Wade  410 U.S. 113
Sacchetti, M., Marimow, A., Sacchetti, M. and Marimow, A. (2018). Undocumented teen immigrant has the abortion she sought for weeks. [online] Washington Post. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/undocumented-immigrant-teen-has-abortion-ending-weeks-long-court-battle/2017/10/25/9805249a-b90b-11e7-9e58-e6288544af98_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.95519d8c9b92 [Accessed 28 Apr. 2018].
Sedgh, G., Finer, L. B., Bankole, A., Eilers, M. A., & Singh, S. (2015). Adolescent pregnancy, birth, and abortion rates across countries: levels and recent trends. Journal of Adolescent Health, 56(2), 223-230.