The Abortion-Funding Cases and Population Control: An Imaginary Lawsuit (and Some Reflections on the Uncertain Limits of Reproductive Privacy)

37 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2019

See all articles by Susan Frelich Appleton

Susan Frelich Appleton

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law

Date Written: July 31, 2019

Abstract

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"

Suggested Citation

Appleton, Susan Frelich, The Abortion-Funding Cases and Population Control: An Imaginary Lawsuit (and Some Reflections on the Uncertain Limits of Reproductive Privacy) (July 31, 2019). 77 Mich. L. Rev. 1688 (1979); Washington University in St. Louis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 19-07-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3430735

Susan Frelich Appleton (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law ( email )

Campus Box 1120
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States

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