Washington D.C., Feb 9, 2023 / 13:35 pm
Despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, a federal judge is claiming that the 13th Amendment, which was ratified to abolish slavery, might establish a constitutional right to have an abortion.
Under Roe v. Wade, the court previously held that the 14th Amendment protects a right to privacy and a right to privacy protects a woman’s right to decide whether to have an abortion. In the Dobbs decision last June, the court revoked that precedent, stating that “the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion” and that “procuring an abortion is not a fundamental constitutional right because such a right has no basis in the Constitution’s text or in our nation’s history.”
Regardless, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote in an order that the court was only addressing claims related to the 14th Amendment and did not evaluate the possibility that the right was protected elsewhere in the Constitution. The order was in relation to a criminal case against pro-life activists who are accused of impeding an abortion clinic’s operations.
“Here, the ‘issue’ before the court in Dobbs was not whether any provision of the Constitution provided a right to abortion,” Kollar-Kotelly wrote. “Rather, the question before the court in Dobbs was whether the 14th Amendment to the Constitution provided such a right.”