In the Supreme Court’s highly anticipated decision, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, discarding the constitutionally protected right to access abortion and turning access over to the states to legislate as they see fit. In doing so, the Court threw reproductive rights into complete disarray, endangered pregnant people’s health and lives, limited their ability to participate fully in society, and undermined the Court’s own legitimacy. In short, the repercussions and reverberations of this decision will be felt nationwide and much more broadly than most realize. 

This Article seeks to predict and explore the reproductive and economic consequences of Dobbs. First, it examines future anti-abortion legislation, including the realistic possibility of a federal abortion ban, increased criminalization of pregnancy, and threats to contraception. Second, it describes much of the unnecessary pregnancy-related suffering caused by restrictive abortion laws, including unforeseen threats to fertility treatment, the physical and economic consequences of being denied a wanted abortion, challenges in treating pregnancy loss, and the empty promise of “life of the mother” and “medical emergency” exceptions. 

In short, the Dobbs decision has opened the door to a parade of reproductive and economic horribles that most people did not expect or consider when thinking about abortion access. Some of these consequences are starting to come to the forefront. This Article seeks to enlighten and encourage the United States’ pro-choice majority to make abortion access a voting priority, as that is the only way to reverse course.

Download PDF

Deborah Machalow, Screwed But Not Even Kissed: The Parade of Reproductive and Economic Horribles Likely to Follow Dobbs, 26 J. Gender, Race & Just. 81 (2023). 

Monday, January 30, 2023