The accuracy of much of this information WILL CHANGE as Roe v. Wade was overturned by Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health on June 24, 2022. Please understand that most of the legal information presented is in effect as of June 22, 2022 (before Dobbs).
On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court issued a formal opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which centered on a Mississippi law baring most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, a violation of the standard set in Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court upheld the Mississippi law and overturned both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
The published opinion (slip law) is available to read online or as a PDF download below.
This decision comes down over a month after Politico released a leaked draft of the Supreme Court's Dobbs opinion on May 2, 2022. The leaked draft is available to read online or as a PDF download below.
Legal News Coverage:
Executive Branch Response:
On July 8, 2022, President Biden signed an Executive Order protecting access to reproductive healthcare services. The order aims to safeguard access to abortion care and contraceptives, protect patient privacy, and establish an interagency task force between the Department of Health and Human Services and the White House.
The Biden Administration seeks to establish guidelines in the areas of interstate travel and medication sales, patient privacy, and emergency treatment:
Emory Law Protest Guide:
Those protesting the ruling in Dobbs may check out Emory Law Library's Protest Resource guide. Although the guide focuses on the protests surrounding George Floyd's murder in 2020, this resource includes general protest support and safety information.
Below is a timeline of landmark cases regarding federal abortion law. For brief summaries of each case, see this assembled by the ACLU.
Books and reports included in the Emory Libraries collection:
See search results from the Emory Libraries catalog using the following search terms:
Books and Reports:
State Research Guides (Not abortion-specific):
Emory Law Catalog Subject Term Searches:
For a comprehensive summary of abortion laws (including medical definitions, US legislative history, and activism) as well as links to a variety of scholarly articles supporting each side of the issue, see this "Topic Overview" collection provided courtesy of Gale Publishing: "Abortion" Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, (Gale Publishing, 2018).
For information about abortion laws in specific states, see An Overview of Abortion Laws (June 1, 2022) provided by the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) worldwide. This website includes a state-by-state breakdown of abortion laws in graph format and as an interactive map. Additional State-by-State surveys of abortion law are available in the Resources for State Abortion Law box above.
Westlaw and Lexis are wonderful tools for finding primary sources (cases, statues, etc) as well as secondary sources like law review articles. Our catalog should be used to search for additional sources available to you. Call numbers can be used to find books in the catalog and on the shelves. Subject term searches can be used to find every resource tagged with the that particular term, which is an excellent way to identify relevant works. Some helpful examples of both are provided below.