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Am J Public Health. 2013 Jan;103(1):17-21. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301104. Epub 2012 Nov 15.

Roe v Wade and the new Jane Crow: reproductive rights in the age of mass incarceration.

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National Advocates for Pregnant Women, New York, NY 10018, USA.


All pregnant women, not just those who seek to end a pregnancy, have benefited from Roe v Wade. Today's system of mass incarceration makes it likely that if Roe is overturned women who have abortions will go to jail. Efforts to establish separate legal "personhood" for fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses, however, are already being used as the basis for the arrests and detentions of and forced interventions on pregnant women, including those who seek to go to term. Examination of these punitive actions makes clear that attacks on Roe threaten all pregnant women not only with the loss of their reproductive rights and physical liberty but also with the loss of their status as full constitutional persons.

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