The Resounding Promise of Roe v. Wade: Gender Equality in Contemporary Abortion Law

by Jennifer Dong

Justice Anthony Kennedy began the plurality opinion in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey by stating, “Liberty finds no refuge in the jurisprudence of doubt.”[1] Yet nearly 30 years later, and despite Casey’s efforts to create a standard of constitutional review strong enough to safeguard the right to reproductive autonomy, abortion rights remain largely contentious.[2] Since the 1973 landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade,[3] state legislatures have enacted laws making abortion access more difficult while paradoxically promising to ensure the health and safety of women seeking abortions,[4] such as the overturned Texas law at issue in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.[5] Lawmakers in Ohio, Florida, Minnesota, and Tennessee have also recently considered, introduced, or passed bills outlawing abortion if Roe is overturned.[6] In spite of the flaws in Hellerstedt, the decision protected abortion rights in states with similar admitting privileges requirements and served as a beacon vindicating women’s reproductive freedoms for both past and future cases.

The Trimester Framework

Roe overturned a Texas law that criminalized all abortions except in circumstances in which the mother’s life must be saved.[7] In the majority opinion delivered by Justice Blackmun, the Supreme Court held that women had a constitutional right to abortion rooted in an implied right of personal privacy within the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and this right of privacy is “broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”[8] While the Constitution does not explicitly express a right of privacy, the Court recognized that there are certain implied zones, or penumbras, of privacy protected under the Constitution from governmental interference.[9] Formed in earlier cases such as Griswold v. Connecticut,[10] in which the Court invalidated a ban on the use or sale of contraceptives to married couples because it violated the right to privacy, the guarantee of privacy further solidified in Roe what the Court deemed as a fundamental personal right.[11]

Justice Blackmun reasoned that the state’s denial of the choice to terminate pregnancy could impose damage upon a pregnant woman’s mental and physical health, citing that forcing a woman into motherhood may render her life extremely distressful.[12] In recognizing that pregnancy directly and profoundly affects the mother’s ability to fully participate in the public sphere, the Court broadly protected the freedom to have an abortion.[13] The Court went as far to state that “psychological harm may be imminent”[14] in an unwanted pregnancy and that issues arise when a family is ill-equipped physically and psychologically to care for it.[15]

Roe did not hold that women have an unlimited right to abortion. Rather, the Court refuted the argument that a woman has the right to terminate her pregnancy at any time for any reason, claiming that a “state may properly assert important interests in safeguarding health, in maintaining medical standards, and in protecting potential life.”[16] While the Court did not attempt to resolve the complicated question of when life begins, it held that the law has never recognized the unborn as full-fledged persons with constitutional rights.[17] In opposition to the Texas law, the Court stated that the definition of a “person” is not included in the Constitution, and the three references in the Fourteenth Amendment only apply postnatally, not prenatally.[18]

Moreover, although a fetus is not considered a person by the Fourteenth Amendment and thus does not have its own constitutional rights, it possesses the potentiality of life. The Court found that along with the legitimate government interest in protecting the pregnant woman’s health, the state also has a legitimate interest in protecting potential life that becomes compelling in tandem with the progression of pregnancy.[19] Because of the low rate of mortality and complications resulting from abortion in the first trimester, the Court decided that the compelling point for the state interest of protecting the health of the mother is approximately the end of the first trimester. The Court noted that from this point on, the state is free to regulate abortion for the purpose of protecting and preserving maternal health. Women and their doctors are free to determine without state interference whether a pregnancy should be terminated during the first trimester.

The opposing compelling point of protecting potential life is at viability, or when a fetus can live independently outside of the womb. A fetus becomes viable at the start of the third trimester, or between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy.[20] The protective power of fetal life after viability allows a state to prohibit abortion after that point—unless the mother’s life or health is at stake.[21] In creating the trimester framework, the Court resolved two extremes: a woman’s prima facie right[22] to end her pregnancy and a state’s compelling interest to restrict abortion for purposes relating to the mother’s health and potential life. Toward the end of the first trimester, the state could not prohibit abortions and judgment is reserved for the pregnant woman’s physician. During the beginning of the second trimester, the state could regulate abortions to protect maternal health. During the third trimester, or the time following viability, the state’s compelling interest in potential life outweighs a mother’s interest in terminating the pregnancy. The state is also allowed to regulate and even ban abortions after viability, except in the interest of the mother’s life.[23] In sum, the Court has reconciled the fundamental right to privacy with compelling government interests by stressing that the decision of first trimester abortion must be left to the medical judgment of the physician.

Casey’s Undue Burden Standard

Almost 20 years later in Casey, the Court upheld Roe in an attempt to stabilize the law and end the debate on abortion incited by Roe. The Court reaffirmed that a woman’s implied constitutional right to have an abortion cannot be unduly limited by the state until viability is reached.[24] In a plurality opinion, Justices O’Connor, Kennedy, and Souter upheld the locating of Roe’s right to privacy in the Due Process Clause, declaring that the clause includes a substantive component[25] that reserves a “realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter.”[26] This extension of the right to privacy stressed, however, that state regulation of personal behavior could still limit personal autonomy and prosecution of intimate choices could be publicly scrutinized. While abortion may be at odds with principles of morality, the Court in Casey mirrored Roe’s neutrality by insisting that its responsibility lie not in infusing its own moral code into the law, but in defining the “liberty of all.”[27] Here, the Court protected the dignity of women as well as state interests in potential life without rooting its decision in ethical or religious premises. The Court also acknowledged the fundamental nature of the right to choose established in Roe by affirming that a state may not force upon women its interests considering the factors of bodily integrity, a woman’s intimate suffering of carrying a child, and the responsibility necessary for the begetting of children. In accordance with the doctrine of stare decisis, or the act of courts to defer to previous decisions, the Court reasoned that Roe was still enforceable, and that the societal understanding of abortion had not drastically changed from the basis of Roe.

At the heart of Casey lies the historical grounds latent in the argument that Roe should not and cannot be overturned. Because the precedent of Roe has ingrained ideas of women’s freedoms to equally participate in social and economic spheres into many people, overruling Roe without a compelling reason would severely weaken the Court’s legitimacy. The Court’s affirmation of Roe’s holding that “viability marks the earliest point at which the State’s interest in fetal life is constitutionally adequate to justify a legislation ban on non-therapeutic abortions”[28] can furthermore be seen as more of a good-faith response to political and institutional pressures rather than an active effort to expand access to reproductive health care.

Despite its fervently professed adherence to the spirit of Roe, Casey changed the law on abortion by creating the undue burden standard. From the struggle within the Court emerged a holding that aimed to respect a woman’s constitutionally protected right to decide whether to become a mother and the government’s interest in persuading her to do so. Where Roe broadly protected a woman’s right to choose an abortion as guided by medical judgment in the first trimester to the point of viability, Casey permitted government efforts to persuade a woman to choose childbirth in the earliest stages of pregnancy so long as the state does not unduly impose a woman’s right to decide whether to carry a pregnancy to term.[29] The Court in Casey partially abandoned Roe’s trimester-based framework in favor of this new legal standard, which proscribed laws restricting abortion if they imposed an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to abortion. This undue burden standard is defined by the Court as the “conclusion that a state regulation has the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus.”[30] Under the undue burden test, Casey prohibited statutes aimed to purposely obstruct a woman’s right of free choice and gave states more regulatory power to restrict abortion through structural mechanisms that respect the potential life of the unborn.

Casey further strayed from Roe’s protection of abortion rights by holding that a statute created to persuade a woman to choose childbirth over abortion can be upheld for the legitimate interest of fetal life and regulations designed to promote the health of a woman seeking an abortion are constitutional so long as they do not impose an undue burden. Although the Court in Casey similarly reaffirmed that the Due Process Clause protected the right of women to choose to terminate a pregnancy as in Roe, it simultaneously weakened the constitutional protection central to Roe, stating that on one hand “[a]n undue burden exists ... if [a law’s] purpose or effect is to place a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability;”[31] while on the other hand, the Court said a state may deliberately persuade a woman not to terminate a pregnancy on behalf of promoting the state’s interest in potential life.[32] The Court failed to indicate whether such persuasive efforts may coincidentally constitute the very substantial obstacle it condemns.

In accordance with the undue burden standard, Casey upheld a 24-hour waiting period provision, a parental consent requirement of a law limiting abortion availability, and a provision mandating facilities performing abortions to file a report on the conditions of the abortions, but struck down a spousal notification provision.[33] The 24-hour waiting period upheld in Casey included the requirement of having physicians inform a patient about the procedure before performing it. While the Court acknowledged the obstacles this waiting period could impose on economically disadvantaged and rural women, it ultimately found that these obstacles were not serious enough for the waiting period to constitute an undue burden.[34] Instead of relying on Roe’s trimester framework to balance government interests with a woman’s fundamental right to abortion, the Court expanded the state’s ability to enact legislation that protects potential life, even if the state demonstrates a preference for childbirth.[35] A woman’s access to abortion is ultimately somewhat hindered as a result of this application of the undue burden standard.

Another provision of Casey stated, however, that a procedure may not be performed unless a woman provides a signed statement from her spouse about her impending abortion. Because many women may be at severe risks of being physically and psychologically abused by their husbands for wanting to terminate their pregnancies, the Court determined that the spousal notification requirement would constitute a substantial and unacceptable obstacle to a woman’s freedom to obtain an abortion.[36] The Court noted that such a requirement would “enable the husband to wield an effective veto over his wife’s decision,”[37] and that women do not surrender their constitutional freedom by entering into a marriage. Moreover, in this context, even the spouse’s interest in fetal life may not justify the wielding of excessive power over his wife.

The Court also upheld the state’s provision requiring a female under 18 to provide informed consent from herself and one of her parents in order to obtain an abortion.[38] If consent is denied, courts may allow the procedure upon confirming that the woman is mature and capable of giving consent to a procedure that “would be in her best interests”[39] through judicial bypass. Lastly, the Court upheld a provision requiring facilities to present a data file regarding abortions performed. The Court noted that the privacy of women who underwent abortions would be protected, and that data collection regarding abortions had a legitimate benefit to medical research.[40]

By upholding three of these four provisions, the Court reasoned that the requirements did not pose a substantial obstacle, but merely “increase[d] the cost of some abortions by a slight amount.”[41] The Court also disregarded that the 24-hour waiting period and parental consent requirements could deliberately persuade women to choose childbirth over abortion. Women living in economic hardship, for example, may not have the privilege of waiting 24 hours to obtain a procedure because they are dependent on their jobs and childcare.[42] Yet it is precisely financially disadvantaged women who constitute the majority of abortion patients.[43] In failing to take away this invidious power, Casey impinged upon the decision in Roe that protected a woman’s decisional and personal autonomy from the state’s subterfuge. Whereas Roe offers a factual analysis under heightened scrutiny to determine the constitutionality of a law, the more subjective undue burden standard in Casey can be easily molded to the justices’ personal preferences whenever abortion statutes reach the Court—all at the expense of women and the impact of childbearing and childbirth on their lives.

A Return to Roe

In Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the Court struck down both provisions of Texas’ 2013 House Bill 2 in its examination of whether the law’s medical benefits justified the burden on abortion rights.[44] The first provision at issue required that a physician performing an abortion must have active admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, while the second provision required abortion facilities to meet standards adopted by ambulatory surgical centers. The Court held that both provisions were facially unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment as interpreted in Casey because the laws did not benefit women and they did not seek to cure any significant health problem. In accordance with Casey, the Court in Hellerstedt considered the “burdens a law imposes on abortion access together with the benefits.”[45] The Court also reflected Casey by relying on evidence and expert testimony to find that abortion was a safe procedure with very low rates of complications and no deaths prior to the enactment of H.B. 2.

Although the supposed purpose of the admitting-privileges requirement was to help ensure that women had easy access to a hospital if complications arose during an abortion procedure, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found no evidence of complications before the passage of H.B. 2.[46] The absence of health problems discovered is critical because it supports the Supreme Court’s opinion that Texas had underlying intent to prevent women from obtaining an abortion by creating arbitrary requirements that would have effectually closed 75 percent[47] of statewide clinics. In the rare instance that hospitalization is necessary, the district court determined that the physician’s possession of admitting privileges had no effect on the quality of care received by the patient, and that most patients would “seek medical attention at the hospital nearest [their] home[s].”[48] The Supreme Court used the undue burden standard outlined in Casey to find that the admitting privileges requirement had the purpose of placing a “substantial obstacle in the path of a woman’s choice.”[49] The record used by the Supreme Court demonstrated that facilities operating after H.B. 2 went into effect were unable to accommodate the increased demand of abortions, showing that the provision led to the closure of half of Texas’ clinics.[50] These closures resulted in a shortage of doctors, staff burnout, prolonged waiting times, and overcrowding.[51] According to the majority opinion of the Court, the provisions claimed to have a legitimate state interest in increasing the quality of care and protecting women’s health, yet the burden of the requirements fell heaviest on poor, rural, or disadvantaged women.[52]

The Supreme Court similarly affirmed the findings of the district court, concluding that the surgical-center requirement provided no benefit to patients and was therefore unnecessary when complications arise in the context of an abortion produced through medication.[53] The surgical-center provision would have reduced the number of abortion facilities available down to seven or eight facilities in Texas’ major cities, substantially increasing the number of abortions performed at each clinic.[54] This provision would have forced women to travel long distances to receive less individualized care at crowded facilities and would have prevented women from receiving correct care, therefore increasing the risk to their health and safety for receiving an abortion outside a hospital.[55] While the obstacle of distance did not constitute an undue burden in the eyes of the Court, it should be considered as an additional burden because of the long distances many women would have to travel—sometimes more than 200 miles.[56] Taken together with additional burdensome factors and the absence of any health benefit, the Court ultimately affirmed the district court’s undue burden conclusion but abandoned the relative balancing standard used in Casey.

The Court in Hellerstedt applied Casey’s standard to arrive at a decision resonant with Roe’s holding. Although Hellerstedt borrowed Casey’s undue burden standard, it was decided with greater adherence to the precedent in Roe that abortion is a fundamental right rather than the balancing test in Casey. In accordance with the strict scrutiny analysis used in Roe, the Court’s decision in Hellerstedt rested on the notion that the state has a legitimate interest to ensure that an abortion is performed under the safest circumstances possible for the patient; however, the Court evaluated the burdens of abortion restrictions with the same sensitivity it devoted to the benefits of abortion restrictions. By identifying the burdens imposed by the Texas law, the Court recognized that the enforcement of this law would transform women’s lived experiences of abortion and that the changes of access were not trivial inconveniences but constitutionally cognizable obstacles to the exercise of their rights. To this Court, it mattered not only whether women could obtain an abortion, but also how the state could deterioriate the circumstances by which women make critical decisions and actions about abortion.[57] The Supreme Court’s decision in Hellerstedt, then, resembled Roe’s stringent skepticism of abortion restrictions to a greater extent than Casey, concluding that extraneous health regulations with the purpose or effect of placing substantial obstacles violate the principle at the core of the Court’s protection of the abortion right.

Conclusion

In the same way Roe’s analysis was grounded in the factually supported trimester model, Hellerstedt used evidence and facts to determine whether provisions posed an undue burden. Such a factual analysis enabled the Court to determine the benefits of a law while weighing its degree of burden. The Court in Hellerstedt dismissed Texas’ argument of res judicata, or the doctrine that prohibits further litigation of a settled claim, but the petitioners brought a challenge to the surgical-center requirement after its enforcement and the closing of many clinics—consequences that were unknowable before the law at issue took effect. By noting that the petitioners’ challenge differed from the pre-enforcement challenge,[58] the Court prioritized the direct impact on the life and health of women that could result from abortion restrictions over claim preclusion. In contrast, Casey relied entirely on precedent when striking down the parental notification requirement and was more deferential to the state’s interest in unborn life, despite claiming to follow the precedent of Roe and invalidating only one of three burdensome provisions. The Court in Casey argued that abortion regulations made in the name of women’s health do not trigger heightened scrutiny because the significant life interests at stake outweigh the minimal inconveniences imposed on women obtaining a procedure.[59] In so holding, Casey departed from Roe by creating an exception to Roe’s virtually indisputable right to a pre-viability abortion by allowing the state to interfere at the outset of pregnancy. Casey’s articulation that a state has a compelling interest in protecting women’s health and that laws may discourage abortions resembles the overturned Texas H.B. 2 provisions.

Unlike Casey, Hellerstedt struck down both provisions at issue and held that courts must consider both the burdens and the benefits that a law confers on abortion access when determining the constitutionality of a law. Even if an individual law posed only a minor obstacle, the post-Hellerstedt Court should continue to recognize the collective power of laws to block abortion access and strike them down if they did not provide necessary medical benefits. The Hellerstedt Court’s emphasis on the benefits of legislation regulating abortion reflected Roe’s heightened scrutiny in deciding if such restrictions truly further compelling state interests and do not instead obstruct a woman’s access to abortion. Scrutinizing the facts that justify the government’s interest in protecting potential life and maternal health thus serves a crucial function of securing protection for women’s dignity.

Hellerstedt hewed closer to the vision expressed in Roe by invalidating laws restricting abortion under the guise of protecting women’s health and safety. It is clear from Roe, Casey, and Hellerstedt that abortion is not an absolute right—state interests and a woman’s constitutionally protected freedom to terminate her pregnancy must be balanced. The potentiality of human life in a moral light constitutes a legitimate state interest. But notions of morality and public opinion should not be given unwarranted power to temper Roe’s fundamental protections involving the right to choose. As stated in Roe, implicit in the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution is a right to privacy that encompasses the decision to have an abortion. The question of when life begins is complex and greatly contested; therefore, opinions rooted in personal beliefs can not be the sole basis of a neutral legal standard.

In upholding two laws that supposedly protected the health and safety of women against the undue burden standard, Casey introduced an uncertain environment where a woman’s full control and unaffected conscience over a decision could be subject to the personal whims of the justices. This environment of wavering jurisprudence allows for laws with pernicious intent similar to Texas’ H.B. 2 to slip through the cracks of a fair legal standard and restrict women’s rights to bodily autonomy. Furthermore, abortion laws must continue to be examined under a strict scrutiny analysis rooted in factual evidence as demonstrated by the precedents of Roe and Hellerstedt. In the face of diverging viewpoints, the state’s interests in protecting the health of the woman undergoing an abortion and the potentiality of human life must be compelling enough to justify curtailment on a woman’s fundamental right to privacy.

The decision made in Roe elicited a clear message to women, girls, and society that the reproductive lives of women should not be governed by fate, nature, misfortune, or men; rather, it signaled an empowering age of choice and agency for women. Furthermore, the right to abortion is tied to a concept of personal autonomy implicit in the due process guarantee.[60] In the same way the notion of equality informed the understanding of the Due Process Clause in Casey, the government should not be able to coerce, manipulate, or stereotype pregnant women. Moreover, Justice Kennedy wrote in the joint opinion for Casey that “[a]t the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life”[61] and that the “the liberty of the woman is at stake in a sense unique to the human condition and so unique to the law.”[62] If the goal of the Constitution is to serve the essential human values of equality and liberty as Casey affirms, women should have an unassailable right to legal abortion unless it is outweighed by a sufficiently compelling state interest such as the protection of maternal health and the potentiality of human life.[63]

Defining abortion as a privacy issue free from governmental intervention as established through Griswold v. Connecticut[64] may not effectively protect the equality and liberty of women. Furthermore, the debate on abortion is far from ending, as current and future legislative measures threaten to close abortion clinics across the country, leaving many women hundreds of miles away from a safe procedure. Stare decisis notwithstanding, the vitality of Roe is on the line as much as the restrictions posing an obstacle to abortion: a case soon to be decided by the Court, June Medical Services v. Russo, includes a challenge from the State of Louisiana regarding the rights of abortion providers and organizations to represent patients.[65] Should the Court decide in favor of Louisiana, individual women would have to challenge abortion restrictions themselves, exposing their names and identities to public scrutiny in a way that could violate their personal liberties. The ultimate issue at stake is not just balancing the fetus’ interest with a woman’s interests, but also preserving a woman’s power to dictate her life’s course as an equal citizen.





[1] Planned Parenthood of Se. Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 844 (1992). [2] In March 2020, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in June Medical Services v. Russo, a challenge to a 2014 Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges (agreements between hospitals and doctors allowing doctors to admit patients) at nearby hospitals. See Anna North, Getting an abortion in "the most pro-life state in America", Vᴏx (Feb. 19, 2020), https://www.vox.com/2020/2/19/21070703/louisiana-abortion-case-supreme-court-law-roe.

[3] Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973). [4] Sheryl Gay Stolberg, More Than 200 Republicans Urge Supreme Court to Weigh Overturning Roe v. Wade, N.Y Tɪᴍᴇs, Jan. 2, 2020, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/02/us/politics/republicans-abortion-supreme-court.html. [5] See Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, 136 S. Ct. 2292 (2016), in which the Court struck down a law that required those providing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and to comply with building standards that would have effectively placed an “undue burden” on women seeking abortion services. [6] Aris Folley, Ohio bill would ban abortion in event Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, Tʜᴇ Hɪʟʟ (March 4, 2020), https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/486041-ohio-bill-would-ban-abortion-in-event-supreme-court-overturns-roe-v-wade; See also Axios, Restrictive abortion laws challenged in courts across America's red states, Axɪᴏs (Dec. 14, 2020), https://www.axios.com/abortion-restriction-states-passed-laws-8326c9aa-6631-4bd1-b02b-c6ba6cd0a335.html. [7] Roe, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).

[8] Id. at 153. [9] See id. at 152, in which Justice Blackmun cited multiple decisions relating to various aspects of the Constitution where “the Court has recognized that a right of personal privacy ... does exist.” [10] Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965). See also Poe v. Ullman, 367 U.S. 497, 522–55 (1961) (Harlan, J., dissenting), in which Justice Harlan wrote that the intimate details of an individual’s personal life cannot be criminalized. [11] Fundamental rights are rights the Supreme Court has recognized as requiring a high degree of protection from government interference. Some are identified in the Constitution, and others, like the privacy right established in Roe, have been enumerated through the Court’s use of the Due Process Clause. Laws encroaching on a fundamental right generally must pass strict scrutiny to be upheld as constitutional. See also Roe, 410 U.S. 113, 152 (1973). [12] Id. at 153, stating that “[t]he detriment the State would impose upon the pregnant woman by denying this choice altogether is apparent.” [13] Id. at 166, stating that “the abortion decision in all its aspects is inherently, and primarily, a medical decision, and basic responsibility for it must rest with the physician.” [14] Id. at 153. [15] Id. [16] Id. at 154. [17] Id. at 162, stating that “[the] unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense.” [18] Id. at 157, stating that “Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment contains three references to ‘person’ ... [but] in nearly all these instances, the use of the word is such that it has application only postnatally.” [19] Id. at 162–63, stating that “each [interest] grows in substantiality as the women approaches term and, at a point during pregnancy, each becomes ‘compelling.’” [20] Franklin Foer, Fetal Viability, Sʟᴀᴛᴇ, May 25, 1997, https://slate.com/news-and-politics/1997/05/fetal-viability.html. [21] Roe, 410 U.S. 113, 163–64 (1973), stating that “[i]f the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.” [22] A right that can be outweighed by other interests. [23] Roe, 410 U.S. 113, 163–64 (1973). [24] See id. [25] Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 847–48, stating that “[m]arriage is mentioned nowhere in the Bill of Rights and interracial marriage was illegal in most States in the 19th cenutry, but the Court was no doubt correct in finding it an aspect of liberty protected against state interference by the substantive component of the Due Process Clause in Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 12 (1967).” [26] Id. at 847. [27] Id. at 850, stating that “[o]ur obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code. The underlying constitutional issue is whether the State can resolve these philosophic questions in such a definitive way that a woman lacks all choice in the matter [except in instances of rape or incest, or when her life is in danger].” [28] Id. at 860. [29] See id. [30] Id. at 877. [31] Id. at 878. [32] Id. at 879. [33] See id. [34] Id. at 937. [35] Id. at 883, stating that “[a] state may further its legitimate goal of protecting the life of the unborn by enacting legislation aimed at ensuring a decision that is mature and informed, even when in so doing the State expresses a preference for childbirth over abortion.” [36] Id. at 893. [37] Id. at 897. [38] Id. at 899–900. [39] Id. at 899. [40] Id. at 900–01. [41] Id. at 901. [42] Joel Dodge, The Supreme Court & Abortion Access for Women Living in Poverty, Aᴍᴇʀɪᴄᴀɴ Cᴏɴsᴛɪᴛᴜᴛɪᴏɴ Sᴏᴄɪᴇᴛʏ (Oct. 7, 2019), https://www.acslaw.org/issue_brief/briefs-landing/we-must-not-blind-ourselves-the-supreme-court-abortion-access-for-women-living-in-poverty/. [43] Rachel Goodling, 24-hour waiting periods: an ‘undue burden’ or a minor inconvenience? Cᴀᴍᴘʙᴇʟʟ Lᴀᴡ Oʙsᴇʀᴠᴇʀ (June 22, 2015), http://campbelllawobserver.com/24-hour-waiting-periods-an-undue-burden-or-a-minor-inconvenience/. [44] Hellerstedt, 136 S. Ct. 2292 (2016). [45] Id. at 2298. [46] Id. at 2300–01. [47] Brief of Constitutional Accountability Center as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioners at 2, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, 136 S. Ct. 2292 (2016) (No. 15–274). [48] Hellerstedt, 136 S. Ct. 2292, 2311. [49] Id. at 2312, citing Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 877. [50] Id. at 2312–13. [51] Id. at 2318. [52] Id. at 2302, citing Whole Woman’s Health v. Lakey, 46 F.Supp.3d. 673, 683 (2014). [53] Id. at 2315. [54] Id. at 2296. [55] Id. at 2321, stating that “[w]hen a State severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners, [for lack of something better], at great risk to their health and safety” (Ginsburg, J., concurring). [56] Rebecca Santana & Mark Sherman, A clinic prepares for Supreme Court abortion fight, Assᴏᴄɪᴀᴛᴇᴅ Pʀᴇss (March 2, 2020), https://apnews.com/6d10cb3de220233dcda0c6ff7ecc60af. [57] Linda Greenhouse & Reva B. Siegel, Casey and the Clinic Closings: When “Protecting Health” Obstructs Choice. 125 Yᴀʟᴇ L.J. 1150–1547 (2016). [58] Hellerstedt, 136 S. Ct. 2292, 2297. [59] Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 851. [60] Roe, 410 U.S. 113 (1973). [61] Id. at 851. [62] Id. at 852. [63] See Kᴀᴛʜʟᴇᴇɴ Sᴜʟʟɪᴠᴀɴ & Nᴏᴀʜ Fᴇʟᴅᴍᴀɴ, Cᴏɴsᴛɪᴛᴜᴛɪᴏɴᴀʟ Lᴀᴡ 524 (20th ed. 2016). [64] Griswold, 381 U.S. 479 (1965), struck down a statute criminalizing use of contraceptive devices to prevent conception. The Casey Court later upheld the right of privacy implied in the Due Process Clause as stated in Roe and introduced in Griswold that governments may not interfere within the privacy of matters such as marriages, procreation, contraception, or family relationships. [65] Alexandra Svokos, Over 350 lawyers, legal professionals who had abortions file brief in landmark Supreme Court case, ABC Nᴇᴡs (Dec. 2, 2019), https://abcnews.go.com/US/350-lawyers-legal-professionals-abortions-file-supreme-court/story?id=67441723.


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