Calyn Hadlock


In July of 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned decades of precedent by holding that certain substantive rights, including the right to choose to have an abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy, no longer exist. The Court’s decision impacted the quality and availability of reproductive care in numerous states across America and forced healthcare providers to prioritize arbitrary, confusing regulations over the health and well-being of pregnant patients. Tensions between liberal and conservative states are rising as state representatives respond to the Supreme Court’s decision with overt, sweeping legislation. In order to emerge from this era intact, the United States should look to other nations with similar political and social structures that have successfully modernized their abortion laws. This Note makes three contributions. First, it describes the issues in a post-Dobbs America. Second, the Note explains how both Ireland and South Africa, two religious nations with deep political divisions, were able to revise policy that restricted abortion access and devise policy that protected and expanded abortion access. Third, it proposes a few different strategies that activists and lawmakers in the United States may employ to modernize abortion laws domestically.



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