Prof. Borgmann on Alabama “Undue Burden” Abortion Decision

August 7, 2014 | CUNY School of Law

In Monday’s edition of the Los Angeles Times, Professor Caitlin Borgmann commented on a recent U.S. District Court decision that ruled a law that would have closed three of five abortion clinics in Alabama unconstitutional.

The decision referred to a 1992 Supreme Court decision that set legal precedent in which the justices ruled that states could not put an “undue burden” on women seeking an abortion.

Professor Borgmann elaborated on the District Court’s interpretation of the 1992 decision.

[U.S. District Court Judge Myron] Thompson using that line of reasoning, essentially said that to pass laws that create high obstacles for obtaining an abortion, the state must have a strong justification for doing so.”

This particular interpretation of the “undue burden” argument has not been used frequently, but she said it could be a new way for judges to evaluate abortion laws.

“The way the court has applied the Casey decision is helpful and logical; it could help judges balance states’ justification for laws with their effects.”

Read the full article

Professor Borgmann also offered a more in-depth analysis of the case on Harvard Law’s Bill of Health blog.

Read the blog post

Professor Borgmann

Professor Borgmann

Professor Borgmann has litigated reproductive rights cases and has also spoken and written widely about reproductive rights and given testimony before several state legislatures on this issue. She is the editor of the Reproductive Rights Blog.