Protecting Reproductive Rights

Protecting Reproductive Rights

In 1973, the Supreme Court recognized a pregnant person’s constitutional right to choose whether to have an abortion or not prior to viability. Roe v. Wade has been an enduring precedent since then, enabling pregnant people to make their own decisions about reproductive healthcare in consultation with their doctor. However, the constitutional right to abortion is in dire peril, along with the nearly fifty years of precedent and reproductive justice built upon it.

In September 2021, five justices on the U.S. Supreme Court allowed Texas’ extreme anti-abortion law, SB8, to take effect, essentially eliminating the right to abortion in the state. The Court could overrule Roe completely this fall when it decides Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health.

Access to abortion has already become a right in name only for many. Laws targeting abortion providers for medically unnecessary and costly restrictions have driven the number of clinics in some states down to the single digits, forcing many patients to travel great distances. Waiting periods, unnecessary ultrasounds, and other barriers to care further limit access to this constitutional right. These burdens fall disproportionately on poor women, and particularly poor women of color. If the Court overturns Roe, abortion will remain legal in some states, while being criminalized in others. Access to abortion will further become a matter of geography. Pregnant people with means will retain the right to abortion with the ability to cross state lines and seek abortion services wherever they are provided. Restrictions to abortion rights and access, or worse a ban on abortion, in some states would further disproportionately impact pregnant people of color and those who are marginalized.

With the Court so willing to weaken and possibly overturn the landmark holding of Roe, the constitutional right to contraception and other family planning resources cannot be assumed to be safe. The fight to preserve reproductive rights intersects with this country’s pursuit of racial and economic equity – and increasingly with the need for Supreme Court reform. This is another area where we cannot underscore enough that courts matter.


Programs

ACS Northeast Ohio: The End of Roe? Texas, SCOTUS, and the Urgent Fight for Reproductive Rights

 

What does the Supreme Court’s recent acquiescence to the radical Texas abortion ban mean for the future of Roe? How quickly will we see copycat legislation across other states? And how can progressives organize around the judiciary and women’s rights to help curb the coming onslaught against reproductive freedom?

This all-star panel discusses the Court’s rapid turn to the right on reproductive rights, how radical state legislatures are pushing the envelope even further, and how progressives can organize and advance reproductive justice.

Featuring:
Jessie Hill, Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and ACS Faculty Advisor, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Katie Paris, Founder of Red Wine & Blue, former CEO of The American Independent
Dr. Jasmine Clark, Georgia State House Representative, Red Wine & Blue contributor, Lecturer at Emory University

 

ACS San Diego: Reproductive Rights in America Today

 

The ACS San Diego Lawyer Chapter discusses the state of reproductive rights in America today! Presentations range from the Mississippi case pending before the Supreme Court to abortion legislation at the state level and poor access to parental leave and affordable child care.

Moderated by:
Michelle Camacho, Executive Board Member, American Constitution Society San Diego Chapter; Law Office of Michelle A. Camacho

Featuring:
Tracy Skaddan, General Counsel, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest
Leah Litman, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Michigan School of Law; Member, ACS Board of Academic Advisors


Podcast Series

Since the U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973, reproductive rights have never been more in peril than they are today, due to the make up of our highest court. How did we get here and what can be done to preserve abortion access in this new reality? Join Lindsay Langholz, ACS Director of Policy and Program, for her conversation with Julie F. Kay and Kathryn “Kitty” Kolbert, authors of the new book Controlling Women, as they discuss the evolution of abortion rights and break down the real forces at work in restricting access across the country. They answer the question, what can advocates and lawyers do to save reproductive rights?


Blog Symposium


Publications