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Fetal Pain, Abortion, Viability and the Constitution

The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Vol. 39, 2011

Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 11-26

14 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2011 Last revised: 18 May 2017

I. Glenn Cohen

Harvard Law School

Sadath Sayeed

Harvard Medical School

Date Written: April 8, 2011

Abstract

Can a U.S. state prohibit pre-viability abortions on the basis of concern of pain to fetuses?

Given that legislation in Nebraska purports to do, and the fact that similar are efforts now working through the legislative process in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and soon perhaps other states, the question is a pressing one.

In this short paper for the leading peer-reviewed law and medicine journal, we are the first to comprehensively examine these efforts to prohibit early abortion based on concerns about fetal pain from a constitutional, medical, and bioethical perspective.

Keywords: Abortion, Fetal Pain, Constitutional Law, Fetus, Viability, Bioethics

Suggested Citation

Cohen, I. Glenn and Sayeed, Sadath, Fetal Pain, Abortion, Viability and the Constitution (April 8, 2011). The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Vol. 39, 2011; Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 11-26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1805904

I. Glenn Cohen (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1525 Massachusetts Avenue
Griswold Hall 503
Cambridge, 02138
United States

Sadath Sayeed

Harvard Medical School ( email )

250 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

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