All posts tagged: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Blog post: “Abortion is a constitutional right.” Is it?

By Monica Chen One of the phrases I keep hearing in the turbulence after the SCOTUS leak on Roe v. Wade is that abortion is a constitutional right, which — that does not sound right, does it? This blog post is my first look at this assertion by politicians and activists on the abortion issue.┬áIs abortion a constitutional right? If you look at the writings and talks by the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — the answer seems to be, “Not really.” Or she’d rebuke you for asking the wrong question to begin with. Roe was settled on the right to privacy. But for Ginsburg, reproductive choice, not abortion, was a constitutional right for women and came down to equal protection under the law, under the due process clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Ginsburg was critical of Roe, the 1973 landmark decision. She thought it was shockingly sweeping, halted progress that was already underway in the states, proved to be divisive over time, and Ginsburg seemed to have always supported the …

What Ruth Bader Ginsburg thought of Roe v. Wade

By Monica Chen  Although the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been held up by the pro-choice movement and feminist organizations as an icon of feminism, widely assumed to support Roe v. Wade, what the movements have been ignoring are Ginsburg’s own words on the decision. Ginsburg had strong criticisms of Roe over the decades, and was consistent in her points of criticism. Ginsburg even called the landmark 1973 decision, which legalized abortions nationwide, a “regime.” Her words are now echoed by Justice Samuel Alito’s recent leaked draft opinion to overturn the decision. The Court had “fashion(ed) a regime blanketing the subject, a set of rules that displaced virtually every state law then in force,” Ginsburg wrote forcefully in 1992 in the wake of Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Ginsburg thought Roe took the debate on abortion out of state legislatures — away from the legislative branch of government — and that’s where that debate had been up to that point and should have stayed. According to Politico, Alito wrote in his majority draft …