reproductive rights

  • After Dobbs, Abortion Politics are Straining the Republican Coalition

    by Daniel K. Williams

    When the party could focus on appointing anti-Roe judges, the Republicans could make abortion a political issue without having to decide matters of policy that inevitably leave parts of their coalition angry and disappointed. Have they lost by winning? 

  • The Relevance of Common Law to Today's Abortion Debate: How Did the Law Work in Practice?

    by Katherine Bergevin, Stephanie Insley Hershinow and Manushag N. Powell

    Samuel Alito's ruling in Dobbs claimed to ground itself in the English common law's treatment of pregnancy. But he focused on a small number of published treatises while ignoring the record of how the law actually treated pregnant women and fetuses. 

  • Abortion Restrictions Aimed at Minors Will Never Stop There

    by Mary Ziegler

    In the years after Roe v. Wade, abortion opponents recognized both that children didn't always enjoy the same constitutional protections as adults and that many voters would separate "parental rights" from the organized effort to roll back abortion rights. The ploy was effective, and is being repeated in legislation banning travel to access abortion.

  • The New Anti-Abortion Movement is Targeting Complete Bans

    Abortion law historian Mary Ziegler says that a younger generation of uncompromising leaders is likely to win control of the antiabortion movement and push for legislation and policy changes without regard for their public popularity. Daniel K. Williams says the Dobbs ruling has only fueled their sense of righteousness.

  • Judge Kacsmaryk Misread the Comstock Act

    by Lauren MacIvor Thompson

    The initial draft of the 1873 anti-obscenity legislation, which banned mailing information about and devices or medicines intended to induce abortion, had an exemption for physicians, and later court precedents interpreted the act as if that exemption were part of the law. Judge Kacsmaryk has ignored this legal history in his ruling. 

  • Texas's Abortion Ban Can Never be Made Humane

    by Mary Ziegler

    When abortion access depends on establishing that a pregnant woman deserves an exception to a ban, the law will inevitably prevent doctors from serving patients with problem pregnancies. 

  • Black Women's Activism Ties Reproductive Rights to Broader Goals of Freedom

    by Kim Gallon

    Black women's reproductive lives have always been complicated by institutional racism, sexism, and the balance of personal autonomy and racial solidarity. Black feminists have struggled to use the African American press as a space to force discussion of the issues. 

  • Criminalizing Abortion Will Tear Families Apart

    There are relatively few Americans living today whose parents were harassed or jailed for performing illegal abortions. Their stories should inform the debate today. 

  • A Guide from the Past for Travelers Seeking an Abortion

    by Sarah Elvins

    "Women traveling to procure abortions is nothing new. Before the 1973 Roe ruling, state-to-state travel existed, as did highly organized transnational networks to guide women across borders."

  • What the 1960s Tell Us about the Path to Secure Reproductive Freedom

    by Felicia Kornbluh

    Those who wish to protect abortion rights and other reproductive freedoms after the Dobbs decision must consider combining any and all strategies available, from lobbying to civil disobedience and mass action. 

  • What to Expect after Roe, Based on Research

    by Diana Greene Foster

    The author has systematically studied the consequences to women of having an abortion or having that freedom denied. She explains what to expect when states are free to outlaw abortion: more child poverty, more maternal death, and reduced opportunities for women, with the poor getting the worst of it.