As many as 6,000 women are pregnant in prison in the United States. The option of abortion is particularly suited for these women, who struggle with public assistance, drug addiction, or who are at risk of losing their child to the foster system. The Bureau of Prisons policies governing abortion in prison effectively require potentially coercive religious counseling, empower prison administrators to “pass the buck” and control abortion access, and disregard the time constraints associated with pregnancy. Although these federal prison policies are facially constitutional and therefore survive substantive challenges, they are unconstitutional as applied because they deny pregnant offenders the constitutionally protected procedures that should accompany the right to abortion. A simple, albeit surprising, analogy to prison correspondence policies can provide a roadmap for establishing the basic protections of notice and a hearing. These procedural safeguards ensure that incarcerated women have the information they need to make reproductive decisions behind prison walls.
Volume 93 - No. 4
- Note: Big Enough To Matter: Whether Statistical Significance or Practical Significance Should Be the Test for Title VII Disparate Impact Claims
- Note: Of Mosquitoes, Adolescents, and Reproductive Rights: Public Health and Reproductive Risks in a Genomic Age
- Note: Payments on Debt After Discharge: When a Discharge Is Not Really a Discharge and the Limits of Taxpayer Recourse
- Inherent National Sovereignty Constitutionalism: An Original Understanding of the U.S. Constitution
- Reproduction Reconceived
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