The Abortion-Funding Cases and Population Control: An Imaginary Lawsuit (and Some Reflections on the Uncertain Limits of Reproductive Privacy)
77 Mich. L. Rev. 1688 (1979)
37 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2019
Date Written: July 31, 2019
Written many years before the feminist judgments projects made “fantasy opinions” an acceptable, even popular, genre for legal scholars, this article presents an imaginary case and offers three opinions: a majority opinion, a concurrence, and a dissent. The case presents the mirror image of the first set of abortion-funding cases, decided by the Supreme Court shortly beforehand, in 1977. Here, the legal and constitutional challenge takes aim at a hypothetical public funding scheme that supports poor pregnant women seeking abortions but withholds financial assistance for prenatal care and delivery. The three opinions, which all take different positions, highlight both the uncertainty of the Court’s abortion doctrine and the alarming possibilities that some readings would allow.
Keywords: abortion, childbirth, public assistance, government funding, “medically necessary"
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