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Health Law and Policy Commons

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Columbia Law School

Constitutional law

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Full-Text Articles in Health Law and Policy

Abortion, Equality, And Administrative Regulation, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2007

Abortion, Equality, And Administrative Regulation, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Abortion and equality are a common pairing; courts as well as legal scholars have noted the importance of abortion and a woman's ability to control whether and when she has children to her ability to participate fully and equally in society. Abortion and administrative regulation, on the other hand, are a more unusual combination. Most restrictions on abortion are legislatively imposed, while guarantees of reproductive freedom are constitutionally derived, so administrative law does not frequently figure in debates about access to abortion.


Abortion, Equality, And Administrative Regulation, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2006

Abortion, Equality, And Administrative Regulation, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

This symposium essay argues that administrative regulation of abortion and reproductive rights deserve closer study. Administrative regulation of abortion is overwhelmingly health regulation; the focus is on abortion as a medical procedure, and the government's only stated interest is protecting the health of women obtaining abortions. Such regulation is becoming increasingly common, and is worthy of greater attention on that ground alone. But in addition, and of particular relevance to this symposium on reproductive rights and equality, administrative abortion regulation demonstrates the difficulty in successfully challenging abortion restrictions as unconstitutional gender discrimination. Given general medical agreement that early abortions ...