Abortion Stigma: The Legacy of Casey

55 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2014 Last revised: 12 Dec 2014

Date Written: November 5, 2014


A growing body of research attests to a culture of stigma surrounding abortion. Abortion stigma derives from stereotypes that identify women as mothers and nurturers; a woman who terminates her pregnancy may be stigmatized for failing to conform to social norms. This article examines recent empirical data concerning abortion stigma and considers the role of abortion stigma in judicial review of laws regulating abortion. Evidence of abortion stigma is relevant to judicial analysis of whether a restriction on abortion constitutes an undue burden under Casey. This article argues that evidence of stigma may reveal whether a restriction has an impermissible purpose or effect, or is based upon impermissible gender stereotyping.

Suggested Citation

Abrams, Paula L., Abortion Stigma: The Legacy of Casey (November 5, 2014). Women's Rights Law Reporter, Forthcoming, Lewis & Clark Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-21, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2519798

Paula L. Abrams (Contact Author)

Lewis & Clark Law School ( email )

10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland, OR 97219
United States
503-768-6632 (Phone)
503-768-6716 (Fax)

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