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Full-Text Articles in Law

Missed Opportunities: The Unrealized Equal Protection Framework In Maher V. Roe And Harris V. Mcrae, Amelia Bailey Jan 2016

Missed Opportunities: The Unrealized Equal Protection Framework In Maher V. Roe And Harris V. Mcrae, Amelia Bailey

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Note focuses on two cases, Maher v. Roe and Harris v. McRae, and argues that they represent watershed moments in the reproductive rights movement because they positioned abortion as a fundamental right in name only. In both cases, the Supreme Court sanctioned severe funding restrictions and refused to grant poor women the right to state and federal assistance for elective and “nontherapeutic” abortions. “Non-therapeutic abortion” refers to those abortions performed or induced when the life of the mother is not endangered if the fetus is carried to term or when the pregnancy of the mother is not the result ...


Constitutionalizing Fetal Rights: A Salutary Tale From Ireland, Fiona De Londras Dec 2015

Constitutionalizing Fetal Rights: A Salutary Tale From Ireland, Fiona De Londras

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In 1983, Ireland became the first country in the world to constitutionalize fetal rights. The 8th Amendment to the Constitution, passed by a referendum of the People, resulted in constitutional protection for “the right to life of the unborn,” which was deemed “equal” to the right to life of the “mother.” Since then, enshrining fetal rights in constitutions and in legislation has emerged as a key part of anti-abortion campaigning. This Article traces the constitutionalization of fetal rights in Ireland and its implications for law, politics, and women. In so doing, it provides a salutary tale of such an approach ...


Morning-After Decisions: Legal Mobilization Against Emergency Contraception In Chile, Fernando Muñoz León Jan 2014

Morning-After Decisions: Legal Mobilization Against Emergency Contraception In Chile, Fernando Muñoz León

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In Chile, the Criminal Code bans all forms of abortion. Furthermore, the Constitution—drafted and enacted by the Military Junta led by General Augusto Pinochet—was inspired by a conservative version of Catholic natural law championed by prominent Chilean constitutional law scholars. This Article traces the emergence, development, and ultimately the defeat of a persistent legal mobilization driven by natural law-inspired litigants, politicians, and scholars against levonorgestrel-based emergency contraception, also known as the morning-after pill. In their decade-long efforts at legal mobilization, these natural law litigants used every tool of the Chilean legal system to challenge the legality and the ...


Aborted Emotions: Regret, Relationality, And Regulation, Jody Lyneé Madeira Jan 2014

Aborted Emotions: Regret, Relationality, And Regulation, Jody Lyneé Madeira

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Regret is a deeply contested emotion within abortion discourse. It is present in ways that we are both afraid of and afraid to talk about. Conventional pro-life and pro-choice narratives link regret to defective decision making. Both sides assert that the existence of regret reveals abortion’s harmfulness or harmlessness, generating a narrow focus on the maternal-fetal relationship and women’s “rights.” These incomplete, deeply flawed constructions mire discourse in a clash between regret and relief and exclude myriad relevant relationships. Moreover, they distort popular understandings of abortion that in turn influence women, creating cognitive dissonance and perhaps distress for ...


The North Carolina Woman’S Right To Know Act: An Unconstitutional Infringement On A Physician’S First Amendment Right To Free Speech, Ryan Bakelaar Jan 2013

The North Carolina Woman’S Right To Know Act: An Unconstitutional Infringement On A Physician’S First Amendment Right To Free Speech, Ryan Bakelaar

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The North Carolina Woman’s Right to Know Act represents the crossroads of the Supreme Court’s First Amendment, informed consent, and abortion-related jurisprudence. The Act requires physicians to perform an obstetric ultrasound, verbally convey specific information regarding ultrasonographic findings, and communicate a host of other information to patients seeking abortions. The purported goal of the Act is to ensure that physicians obtain appropriate informed consent from such patients. By compelling a physician to convey this information, the State violates the physician’s First Amendment rights. Indeed, the State may not compel an individual to convey the State’s ideological ...


The Scarlet Letter: The Supreme Court And The Language Of Abortion Stigma, Paula Abrams Jan 2013

The Scarlet Letter: The Supreme Court And The Language Of Abortion Stigma, Paula Abrams

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Why does the Supreme Court refer to the woman who is seeking an abortion as "mother"? Surely the definition has not escaped the attention of a Court that frequently relies on the dictionary to define important terms or principles. And why does the Court choose to describe the fetus as a child? What message does this language send about abortion and the woman who seeks an abortion? The Court's abortion decisions embody an ongoing debate on the legitimacy of constitutional protection of the right to choose. This debate unfolds most obviously as a discourse on constitutional interpretation; disagreements within ...


Does The Constitution Protect Abortions Based On Fetal Anomaly?: Examining The Potential For Disability-Selective Abortion Bans In The Age Of Prenatal Whole Genome Sequencing, Greer Donley Jan 2013

Does The Constitution Protect Abortions Based On Fetal Anomaly?: Examining The Potential For Disability-Selective Abortion Bans In The Age Of Prenatal Whole Genome Sequencing, Greer Donley

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Note examines whether the state or federal government has the power to enact a law that prevents women from obtaining abortions based on their fetus’s genetic abnormality. Such a ban has already been enacted in North Dakota and introduced in Indiana and Missouri. I argue below that this law presents a novel state intrusion on a woman’s right to obtain a pre-viability abortion. Moreover, these pieces of legislation contain an outdated understanding of prenatal genetic testing—-the landscape of which is quickly evolving as a result of a new technology: prenatal whole genome sequencing. This Note argues ...


Abortion And Informed Consent: How Biased Counseling Laws Mandate Violations Of Medical Ethics, Ian Vandewalker Jan 2012

Abortion And Informed Consent: How Biased Counseling Laws Mandate Violations Of Medical Ethics, Ian Vandewalker

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

If we slightly change the facts of the story about the discouraging doctor, it becomes a story that happens every day. Abortion patients face attempts to discourage them from terminating their pregnancies like those the imaginary doctor used, as well as others-and state laws mandate these attempts. While the law of every state requires health care professionals to secure the informed consent of the patient before any medical intervention, over half of the states place additional requirements on legally effective informed consent for abortion. These laws sometimes include features that have ethical problems, such as giving patients deceptive information. Unique ...


When Sixteen Ain't So Sweet: Rethinking The Regulation Of Adolescent Sexuality, Nicole Phillis Jan 2011

When Sixteen Ain't So Sweet: Rethinking The Regulation Of Adolescent Sexuality, Nicole Phillis

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Legally speaking, sexual maturity poses a significant enough liberty interest for a minor to make medical decisions regarding contraceptive medicine or to choose motherhood without parental involvement, but not quite enough for her to obtain an abortion independently. The law incentivizes teenage motherhood by only granting decisional autonomy to those minors who choose to have a child; the minor female's right to procreate vests regardless of her individual maturity. The law discourages teenage abortions by using the choice to terminate a pregnancy to trigger a presumption of immaturity; the minor female's abortion right is pitted against personal autonomy ...


Advocacy In Whispers: The Impact Of The Unsaid Global Gag Rule Upon Free Speech And Free Association In The Context Of Abortion Law Reform In Three East African Countries, Patty Skuster Jan 2004

Advocacy In Whispers: The Impact Of The Unsaid Global Gag Rule Upon Free Speech And Free Association In The Context Of Abortion Law Reform In Three East African Countries, Patty Skuster

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In 2001, President George W. Bush restricted the participation in democratic processes for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) abroad by reinstating a policy restricting family planning funding granted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The restriction sharply curtailed the ability to speak and to associate freely for organizations working to preserve women's health and lives. For this reason, I refer to the restriction as the Global Gag Rule (GGR). Organizations in Uganda, Ethiopia, and Kenya had begun to identify the problems associated with their countries' restrictive abortion laws. In these three countries, as elsewhere in the world, illegal ...


Keynote Address: Reproductive Rights Under Siege: Responding To The Anti-Choice Agenda Conference. University Of Michigan Law School. March 5, 2004, Nancy Northup Jan 2004

Keynote Address: Reproductive Rights Under Siege: Responding To The Anti-Choice Agenda Conference. University Of Michigan Law School. March 5, 2004, Nancy Northup

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

It is great to be here with a new generation that is advocating for reproductive rights and responding to the extraordinary anti-choice agenda we currently face. I am not going to talk about that agenda directly tonight because I know that you know it. You know about the judicial appointments, you know about the parental consent laws, you know about the denial of funding for low-income women, you know about the global gag rule.


The Use Of Human Rights Discourse To Secure Women's Interests: Critical Analysis Of The Implications, Renu Mandhane Jan 2004

The Use Of Human Rights Discourse To Secure Women's Interests: Critical Analysis Of The Implications, Renu Mandhane

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article highlights the significant theoretical constraints of universalism, the tendency of human rights advocates to ignore the underlying cause of rights violations, as well as problems associated with the concept of and informal hierarchy between rights. The article suggests that there are certain circumstances in which INGOs that rely primarily on human rights language in their advocacy efforts may wish to supplement their analysis with explicit reference to feminist legal theory in order to more effectively secure women's interests globally. These ideas will be developed with ongoing reference to the recent and successful campaign initiated by Nepali women ...


Minors As Medical Decision Makers: The Pretextual Reasoning Of The Court In The Abortion Cases, J. Shoshanna Ehrlich Jan 2000

Minors As Medical Decision Makers: The Pretextual Reasoning Of The Court In The Abortion Cases, J. Shoshanna Ehrlich

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

By examining the Court's failure to consider the allocation of authority between parents and children in the critical realm of medical decision making, this article exposes the irrationality of the Court's acceptance of limitations on the abortion rights of minors and reveals the pronatalist thrust of the parental involvement decisions. The article begins by looking at how the Roe Court characterized abortion as a medical decision, followed by a discussion about the medical decision-making rights of minors. Rooted in this medical paradigm, the article then turns to the parental involvement cases to examine the Court's failure to ...


Reproductive Liberty Under The Threat Of Care: Deputizing Private Agents And Deconstructing State Action, Linda Kelly Jan 1998

Reproductive Liberty Under The Threat Of Care: Deputizing Private Agents And Deconstructing State Action, Linda Kelly

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article uncovers the unsettling parallels between feminism and the recent restrictions on reproductive liberty in order to reveal the threat posed by the feminist ethic of care. By critically reexamining feminism's foundation and direction, the need for greater emphasis on female individuality becomes apparent. Kelly’s contention is that such a perspective, aggressively supported by the state, will ensure feminism's progress and encourage the achievement of gender equality.


China's Denial Of Tibetan Women's Right To Reproductive Freedom, Eva Herzer, Sara B. Levin Jan 1996

China's Denial Of Tibetan Women's Right To Reproductive Freedom, Eva Herzer, Sara B. Levin

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article first provides a historical account of the social and political context of the PRC's family planning policies in Tibet. Part B describes the PRC's official family policies from 1982 to the present. Part C discusses the PRC's actual practices, including its population quota controls, focusing on the forced and coerced abortions and sterilizations performed on Tibetan women. Part D applies international human rights law and concludes that the PRC's family planning policy, as implemented, violates international human rights laws. The Article concludes by recommending points of action for the PRC and international community to ...


Slavery Rhetoric And The Abortion Debate, Debora Threedy Jan 1994

Slavery Rhetoric And The Abortion Debate, Debora Threedy

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

There are many things that could be, and have been, said about the question of abortion. This article focuses on the rhetoric of the abortion debate. Specifically, I discuss how both sides of the abortion debate have appropriated the image of the slave and used that image as a rhetorical tool, a metaphor, in making legal arguments. Further, I examine the effectiveness of this metaphor as a rhetorical tool. Finally, I question the purposes behind this appropriation, and whether it reflects a lack of sensitivity to the racial content of the appropriated image.