What “Dobbs” Means for Women’s Equality

Source: The American Prospect
by Marc Spindelman

“In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court identified the right to choose as an aspect of the general constitutional right to privacy. Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which preserved Roe’s’ ‘essential holding,’ shifted abortion’s constitutional foundations to liberty, declaring abortion rights components of 14th Amendment liberty guarantees. Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (which could become the Court’s ruling) encompasses privacy and liberty in its sweep, while insisting it only covers abortion rights, and not women’s 14th Amendment sex equality rights, which Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s litigation helped to get the Court to recognize. Neither Roe nor Casey squarely based its ruling on the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause, the draft opinion emphasizes. Moreover, the opinion adds that pregnancy and abortion implicate women’s sex-based reproductive differences — differences, that is, from men.” (06/20/22)