Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice [Vol 1] by J. Dressler

By J. Dressler

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For the ‘‘pro-choice’’ side, Roe also has considerable symbolic significance, as well as the practical and liberating effect of giving women control over their fertility. For both sides, every millimeter of ground gained or lost in the struggle to preserve or curtail the right to abortion established in Roe is a signal victory or defeat in a continuing clash between deeplyheld beliefs about the proper role and responsibility of women in the family and in society. EDWARD M. WISE See also CRIMINALIZATION HOMICIDE: LEGAL ASPECTS.

Because a ‘‘fundamental’’ right was involved, a state could not simply prohibit abortion on any terms it chose; it would have to adduce ‘‘compelling’’ reasons for overriding a woman’s right to procreative choice. Since early abortion is safer than normal childbirth, concern for the mother’s health would not provide a sufficiently compelling reason for restrictions on abortion during the first trimester, other than a requirement that it be performed by a licensed physician. Concern for the fetus could not be used to preempt a woman’s right to elect abortion before ‘‘viability’’—the point near the beginning of the third trimester at which a fetus is capable of surviving outside the womb, albeit only with artificial aid.

Neither is there a case of accomplice liability if the helper and the principal do not put themselves to the same task, either because the helper does not really care whether the principal succeeds in or even attempts a crime, or because the principal commits a crime or crimes that depart from, or are in excess of, the parties’ common scheme. Cases falling in between those cases where the helper does either too much or too little are what one could call ‘‘pure’’ or ‘‘core’’ cases of accomplice liability in which the helper: (1) exerts some (but not too much) influence on the principal; (2) intends that the principal succeed in the jointly intended criminal act; and (3) the principal does in fact at least generally perform as the helper expects him to.

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