Why Safe & Legal Abortion Matters to You

(why access to abortion matters to everyone)

by Pam Green, © 2016

part 2, caselaw discussions

Why does continued legality , safety, and practical availability of abortion matter to everyone ? Even to people who believe they would never ever under any circumstances need to utilize this themselves ? Even to you , the die-hard Anti-Choicer.
Here are the Supreme Court cases that give hints that if government is allowed to infringe a woman's choice as to abortion by putting obstacles against abortion and / or by rules that favor childbirth over abortion, the government could equally well make rules that favor abortion over childbirth . One rationale for doing so would be that slower population growth or negative growth would be desirable. More ominously, the rationale would be to reduce the size or proportion of some sub-set of the general population.
If you want to safeguard your own right to start and continue your own pregnancy, ie to try to produce a live-born child, you had better as vigourouly safeguard other womens' rights to abort their own pregnancy (and to prevent pregnancy from beginning).

Please go back to part one, if you haven't read it first. That part deals with issues already present. This page is just a supplement and hints at possible future issues, based on past precedent.


Why Safe & Legal Abortion Matters to You

(why access to abortion (& contraception) matter to everyone)

by Pam Green, © 2016, 2017

if the government can over-rule a woman's choice to abort, it can also over-rule her choice to give birth

if government can prohibit or limit or not fund abortion, it can equally mandate (require) or encourage abortion or fund abortion but discourage or NOT fund pregnancy care and childbirth

In the aftermath of Roe v Wade, a number of cases reached the U S Supreme Court concerning whether it violated the Constitution if a state government or the federal government chose to provide funding for pregnancy care and childbirth care but did not provide funding for abortion. Those cases decided that (a) this was not discrimination based on sex , thus the law needed only to have a "rational basis" and (b) that it was "rational" for a government to decide to show preference for increased births , thus higher population growth.

Now in 2017, or eventually, governments may well realize that increased population size is NOT desirable, indeed that reduced size would be desirable, and therefore "rationally" choose to provide funding for abortion (and also contraception) but not provide any funding for childbirrth and possibly also not for pregnnancy care.

note : even worse, the government might decide that reduction of the size and proportion of one or more categories of people within the over-all population would be desirable. The 14th Amendment prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or previous condition of servitude; such categories are "suspect" and discriminations must be justified by "compelling reasons" and must be "narrowly drafted" to accomplish that reason. The Supreme Court has never declared "sex" as a "suspect" category, but has recognized it as one that requires more than merely "rational" justification (largely because of a series of cases in which a law disadvantaged male persons , thanks to the brilliance of Ruth Bader Ginsberg as an ACLU attorney). All other non-"suspect" categories require only "rational" justification for discriminatory laws, and the test of "rationality" is very easily met. The category of "poverty" or "indigency" has explicitly been ruled time and again to NOT be a suspect category. The category of "immigrant" or of "non-citizen" have never been ruled "suspect". In the climate of 2017, these are frightening thoughts.
As I write this , summer of 2017, Congress is debating how to "repeal and replace" (destroy) the Affordable Care Act. One of the key changes is to reduce federal support of Medicaid, reducing money available to the states to provide this care for their poorest citizens. It would be totally rational fiscally for a state to decide that spending on pregnancy prevention and termination is hugely less costly, thus a better bargain for spending their limited funds, than is pregnancy continuation care, childbirth care, and neonatal ICU and possibly lifetime care for any infants born with prroblems.

(note : discrimination in employment is covered by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and later ammendments to that act.

(note : employer discrimination which disadvantaged pregnancy was also upheld by the Supreme Court until passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act ammending Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. note also that what Congress giveith, a later Congress can take away, and then the issues would go back to the courts)

some relevant Supreme Court decisions :

(This may be more of a short course in Constitutional Law than most readers will want, but it's here to augment my arguements in part 1 ,Why Safe and Legal Abortion Matters, which deals with current issues. )

cases relating to constitutionality of funding childbirth but not abortion

cases related to burdens upon pregnancy

(almost all of these decisions are no longer controlling under the 1977 (effective Oct 1978) Pregnancy Discrimination Act Amendment to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which forbids discriminations based on pregnanncy, but could come back into force if Congress were ever to repeal the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, thus restoring women to a secondary status financially.)



Related topics :


site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 12/15/2016 revised 12/25/2016, 7/04/2017
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