Higher Seminar in Medical Law: On the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe (abortion law)

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: Fakultetsrummet, Trädgårdsgatan 1, Uppsala, samt via Zoom
  • Lecturer: Stephen R. Latham, JD, PhD, is Director of Yale University’s Interdisciplinary Center on Bioethics
  • Organiser: Faculty of Law, Uppsala University
  • Contact person: William Munro
  • Seminarium

The United States has recognized a constitutional right to early-term abortion since the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973. Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) somewhat changed states’ abilities to regulate the delivery of abortion, but preserved the core constitutional right to abortion prior to fetal viability (about 24 weeks). Roe and Casey were both predicated on a constitutional right to privacy located, by the court, in the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, passed in the wake of the US Civil War.

This June, the Supreme Court overturned Roe and Casey, using reasoning broad enough to overrule the full range of mid-to-late-20th century privacy rights, though the case itself only actually overruled the constitutional right to abortion, leaving it for states to decide whether and when to limit women’s access to it. How have the states responded? And how will they respond when and if the court goes on to overrule its previous holdings on contraception, marital intimacy, gay marriage, or end-of-life care? This paper will review the possible scope of the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe.

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