A history of abortion in the United States: How we arrived at the brink of overturning Roe v. Wade


Publish Date:
May 5, 2022
Boston Globe
Related Person(s):
Related Organization(s):


Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion reflects a movement that has been building for decades and has a different legal interpretation of what rights are guaranteed under the Constitution, said Bernadette Meyler, a Stanford University Law School professor and an expert in constitutional law.

“It’s because of powerful social movements that supported a whole new philosophy of legal interpretation that enabled a set of reasons that would get rid of Roe,” Meyler said. “This social movement has been building since the decision in Roe.”

President Biden has warned that the draft opinion signals other privacy rights, including same-sex marriage and birth control, could also be at risk. Meyler, the Stanford law professor, agreed that people should be worried. The opinion held that abortion is not protected by the 14th Amendment because it’s not deeply rooted in the nation’s history and tradition. When the amendment was adopted, three quarters of the states made abortion a crime at all stages of pregnancy. That interpretation “could implicate a lot of other unequal laws regarding gender,” she said.

Read More