Lawyer Monthly - August 2022

35 AUG 2022 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM ROE V WADE: THE LEGAL PERSPECTIVE access to birth control, the right to be intimate with a partner of choice, and the right to marriage equality. The Court’s overruling of Roe and Casey is believed to jeopardise those rights too, leading to an immediate response by lawmakers to shore them up through legislation. Regulation of Abortion Permitted by State Laws The intention of the Supreme Court in Dodds was to return the regulation of access to abortion to each of the 50 states. Following Dodds, a number of state “trigger” laws took effect. Those laws were written and adopted in anticipation of the overruling of Roe and Casey to go into effect automatically or with specified official actions if overturned. Over the next months and years, states will continue to adopt regulations governing access to abortion and setting legal consequences for medical personnel and others involved in abortions. Those regulations will be challenged in the state courts on a variety of grounds, including whether they abridge individual freedoms contained in state constitutions. this time that the Constitution would be amended to address that shortcoming in the context of an individual’s right to make childbearing choices. The amendment process, dictated by the Constitution itself, requires either a two thirds vote of both Houses of Congress plus ratification by 38 state legislatures or ratification by constitutional conventions held in three quarters of the states. The Constitution has been amended infrequently over the past 250 years, most often in response to widely shared views resulting from societal changes. Consider, by way of example, the abolition of slavery or legal access to alcoholic beverages. While individual privacy rights have global support, given the divide on abortion in the US based primarily on religious perspectives, it is hard to imagine attaining the consensus needed to amend the Constitution in that regard anytime soon. The implications are also broader than the issue of access to abortion. Other rights based on the same Fourteenth Amendment doctrine include a person’s In overturning the cases of Roe v Wade and Casey, the Supreme Court expressly rejected its own precedent recognising a constitutional right to privacy,

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