Abortion Constitutionality Sex-selection abortion

Michael Paulsen essay on sex-selection abortions

Here is a link to an essay by Michael Paulsen that was published today on the Public Discourse blog.

After noting the practice of abortion for sex-selection, Paulsen discusses the prospect that a law banning abortion for reasons of sex selection might force the Supreme Court to confront the realities of its abortion case law. Here is a quote from the essay–

“A sex-selection ban would indeed present the Supreme Court with a dilemma. To strike down such a law—in essence, to embrace a constitutional right to sex-selection abortion—would expose just how extreme and immoral the Court’s present abortion doctrine really is. To read such a result in the name of “gender equality” would be monstrous and absurd. Such a ruling would undermine support both for Roe and for the Court as an institution as never before. (Concern for the Court’s own prestige and public support was, in fact, part of the reasoning in Casey for reaffirming Roe.) A sex-selection ban dares the pro-abortion justices to embrace an abortion right to kill girls for being girls. Such a ruling would expose the illegitimacy of the Court’s abortion decisions.”

But, Paulsen goes on to discuss, to uphold the law would require the Court to acknowledge the humanity of the unborn child. And, he states, “acknowledge the humanity of the fetus and the regime of Roe collapses.” 

Paulsen also suggests pushing for a federal law banning abortion for sex-selection, particularly during an election year. “There is no better litmus test issue over life, and there is no better time for pressing such a challenge than during an election year.”

Richard M.


Richard Myers

Richard S. Myers, the Vice-President of UFL, is Professor of Law at Ave Maria School of Law, where he teaches Antitrust, Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional Law, and Religious Freedom. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Kenyon College and earned his law degree at Notre Dame, where he won the law school's highest academic prize. He began his legal career by clerking for Judge John F. Kilkenny of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Professor Myers also worked for Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue in Washington, D.C. He taught at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law before joining the Ave Maria faculty. He is a co-editor of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Natural Law Tradition: Contemporary Perspectives (Catholic University of American Press, 2004) and a co-editor of Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy (Scarecrow Press, 2007). He has also published extensively on constitutional law in law reviews and also testified before Congressional and state legislative hearings on life issues. Married to Mollie Murphy, who is also on the faculty at Ave Maria School of Law, they are the proud parents of six children - Michael, Patrick, Clare, Kathleen, Matthew, and Andrew.