‘The Legal Infrastructure of Childbirth’

“Law endorses the ‘right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person’ including a ‘liberty interest [under the Due Process Clause] in refusing unwanted medical treatment’. However, in childbirth, the state controls the bodily choices of pregnant and birthing people through a patchwork of tort law standards and the regulation of healthcare providers, systematically enforcing compliance with particular, value-driven norms. While courts have found abortion to be a fundamental right, they have declined to recognize a right to give birth free from government intrusion. Regulation of abortion faces scrutiny under the ‘undue burden’ standard, but there is no legal limit on government intrusion on privacy through the regulation of childbirth …”

The Legal Infrastructure Of Childbirth 134 Harvard Law Review 2209 (2021).

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