Saturday, June 30, 2018

Prochoicelife: Can the government protect life without coercing women?

June 28, 2018 (New York Times): The End of Abortion, by Reva Siegel:

With the retirement of Justice Kennedy, we are now at "the moment of reckoning." Professor Reva Siegel weighs in on what we can expect in an op ed in the New York Times that considers what a reconstituted Roberts Court might do and emphasizes the need for a rigorous confirmation process.  Whether or not the new Court directly overrules Roe or allows states to enact restrictions that make abortion impossible to obtain as a practical matter (Prof. Siegel thinks the latter more likely "Stealth overruling would effectively produce the same result as an explicit overruling of Roe - with less political backlash"), we will certainly see "greater waves of abortion restrictions in the name of protecting unborn life." Given this new reality, Professor Siegel argues that we should re-examine "when and how government protects life" and challenge existing frameworks that assume a conflict between the protection of unborn life and women's reproductive autonomy.  

She writes:

Expanding the frame beyond abortion, we can ask: Does government protect new life in ways that respect and support women’s choices — for instance, through sexual education, contraception, health care, income assistance and accommodating pregnancy and parenting in the workplace? Or does government protect life selectively, in ways that restrict women’s choices? I call this way of thinking prochoicelife.

A Supreme Court that would reverse or gut Roe and allow the states to coerce women to carry a pregnancy to term will not ask these questions. But if the court will not ask these questions, we must.


The "prochoicelife" perspective is discussed in greater depth in a recent essay published by Prof. Siegel in the Indiana Law Journal.

| Permalink


Post a comment