Roe v. Wade protects more than abortion. If fertilized eggs and fetuses are recognized as separate people, women lose the right to terminate pregnancy, but also will be open to criminal prosecution, child abuse allegations, and other harsh interventions when they remain pregnant and go to term.
Since 1973 when Roe was decided, more than 1200 women across the U.S. have been charged with crimes or taken into government custody for experiencing miscarriage or stillbirth, attempting abortion outside a medical setting, delaying cesarean surgery, having home births, and for being pregnant and engaging in a wide range of actions that are not otherwise criminalized. Roe has been the defense to many of these charges. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe, there will surely be more prosecutions. The anti-abortion movement promises that they do not want women arrested or jailed, but this isn't true. It's already happening.
Yes, the sky is falling, but we have an opportunity to define and demand everything people need to achieve maternal and reproductive justice.
Pregnancy Justice produced this one-hour webinar featuring Lynn M. Paltrow and Dorothy E. Roberts addressing the wide implications if the Supreme Court overturns Roe and where we might go from here.
Lynn M. Paltrow, JD, founded Pregnancy Justice in 2001. She is a graduate of Cornell University and New York University School of Law. She has worked on numerous cases challenging restrictions on the right to choose abortion as well cases opposing the prosecution of and state control over pregnant women seeking to continue their pregnancies to term. Ms. Paltrow has served as a senior staff attorney at the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project, as Director of Special Litigation at the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, and as Vice President for Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of New York City. Ms. Paltrow is the recipient of the Justice Gerald Le Dain Award for Achievement in the Field of Law and the National Women's Health Network's Barbara Seaman Award for Activism in Women's Health. She is a frequent guest lecturer and writer for popular press, law reviews, and peer-reviewed journals.
Dorothy E. Roberts, JD, is an acclaimed scholar of race, gender and the law and reproductive justice advocate. She holds joint appointments at the University of Pennsylvania in the Departments of Africana Studies and Sociology and the Law School where she holds the inaugural Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander chair. She is the founding director of the Penn Program on Race, Science & Society in the Center for Africana Studies. Professor Roberts' books include Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty; Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare; and Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century. She has served on the boards of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Black Women's Health Imperative, and the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform. She received the Society of Family Planning Lifetime Achievement Award and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.