In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, a 6–3 majority of the US Supreme Court overturned 50 years of established precedent, ruling that the Constitution confers no right to abortion. Since first recognition that the constitutional right to privacy encompassed a (negative) right to pre-viability abortion in 1973, Supreme Court decisions have slowly chipped away at the substance of this right. Dobbs, however, marks a significant shift in abortion (and general) jurisprudence, by deploying an originalist interpretation of the constitution to deny that such a right exists. Consequently, States may now regulate abortion how they see fit, including by introducing complete prohibitions. This note illustrates how Dobbs has dire consequences for reproductive freedom as we have known it, with disastrous legal and practical ramifications for abortion-seekers, pregnant people, and all people with the physiology to become pregnant. Furthermore, the Court’s use of an originalist approach to rescind a constitutional protection signals further moves to derecognise other rights such as contraception, as well as same-sex intimacy.
Romanis, E. C. (in press). The end of (reproductive) liberty as we know it: A note on Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health 597 USC __ (2022). Medical Law International, https://doi.org/10.1177/09685332231154562