It is now notorious that the criminalization of abortion, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overruling of Roe v. Wade, doesn’t do much to lower the abortion rate but has had devastating effects on the ability of doctors to treat pregnancies that go wrong. Horror stories accumulate. Opponents of abortion have claimed that the press has exaggerated the danger. Yet two recent lawsuits have made clear that this harm is very real. Efforts to preserve women’s health are being resisted, with some success, even in cases where the fetus is doomed.
The Supreme Court indicated in Dobbs v. Women’s Health Center that it wanted to stay away from the abortion issue. Yet it is certainly coming back there, and soon, because of a new division between two lower federal courts.
Andrew Koppelman, John Paul Stevens Professor of Law at Northwestern University, is the author of “Burning Down the House: How Libertarian Philosophy Was Corrupted by Delusion and Greed” (St. Martin’s Press, forthcoming). Follow him on Twitter @AndrewKoppelman.