A Road Map Through The Supreme Court’s Back Alley

October 1, 2018
Edition: Fall 2018
Volume: 33
Issue: 2
Article: 3

Table of Contents


Attorneys Clarke D. Forsythe and Bradley N. Kehr evaluate the need for abortion clinic regulations that address substandard conditions in such clinics and the inherent risks of abortion procedures. In the wake of Gonzales v. Carhart, additional clinic regulations were needed to protect maternal health. If clinic regulations were going to meet that standard, the short- and long-term risks of abortion needed to be better understood. While preventing “future Gosnells” is a worthy goal, the aim should be effective protection for women’s physical and psychological health, not merely the bargain-basement goal of stopping the worst practitioners. The main obstacle to effective health and safety regulations is the Supreme Court’s abortion doctrine, which was misguided in its inception and has been contradictory in its application. As this article shows, clinic regulations are fully justified by the substandard conditions in abortion clinics and by the inherent risks inherent in abortion procedures.

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About the Authors

Affiliation: Senior Counsel with Americans United for Life and author of Abuse of Discretion: the insiDe story of roe v. WADe (Encounter Books 2013). Copyright 2011 by Clarke D. Forsythe. All rights reserved. Originally published in 57 VillanoVa l. rEV. 45 (2012). Reprinted with permission.
Affiliation: Government Affairs Counsel for Americans United for Life. Acknowledgement: The authors are grateful to Denise Burke and Evangeline Jones for comments on an earlier draft.