Does overruling Roe discriminate against women (of colour)?

Journal of Medical Ethics 48 (12):952-956 (2022)
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On 24 July 2022, the landmark decision Roe v. Wade (1973), that secured a right to abortion for decades, was overruled by the US Supreme Court. The Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organisation severely restricts access to legal abortion care in the USA, since it will give the states the power to ban abortion. It has been claimed that overruling Roe will have disproportionate impacts on women of color and that restricting access to abortion contributes to or amounts to structural racism. In this paper, we consider whether restricting abortion access as a consequence of overruling Roe could be understood as discrimination against women of color (and women in general). We argue that banning abortion is indirectly discriminatory against women of color and directly (but neither indirectly, nor structurally) discriminatory against women in general.

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