Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Monday, April 20, 2009

Recent Scholarship: Women's Reproductive Health as a Protectable Interest

Beth Burkstrand-Reid, Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law's article: "The Invisible Woman: Availability and Culpability in Reproductive Health Jurisprudence"  will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Colorado Law Review.  In the article, Professor Burkstrand-Reid examines court decisions relating to contraception, abortion and childbirth and demonstrates consideration of women's reproductive health as a protectable interest is declining in reproductive health cases. She argues that this is being accomplished in significant part through application of one or both of two recurring devices. First, judges regularly -- and often inaccurately -- cite the theoretical availability of alternative reproductive health services as proof that women's health won't suffer even if a law curtailing reproductive rights is upheld.  Second, when alternatives are not available, decisions blame women for the lack of availability.

The article is available for download at SSRN

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