Reproductive Justice: Roe v. Wade

Dr. Eisenstein: Constitution Day Speaker

Constitution Day 2013:
Reproductive Justice:
Celebrating and Defending
“ROE” at 40

TuesdaySeptember 24, 7:30-9pm
Emerson Suites B, Ithaca College

Dr. Zillah Eisenstein, internationally renowned writer, activist and Distinguished Scholar of Anti-Racist Feminist Political Theory at Ithaca College, discussed the continuing importance of reproductive justice to a fully democratic society, especially for women and girls. An activist since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, Eisenstein argues, “Girls and women’s rights to their bodies- to choose, and decide, and control what happens to them is at the core of our ethical and productive lives. As the new ‘wars’ to control the access and legality of abortion and conception continue, it is more important than ever that reproductive justice remains at the center stage of struggles for democracy.”

Eisenstein’s daughter, Dr. Sarah Eisenstein Stumbar, joined the conversation via video, to discuss the current challenges that doctors face trying to protect the reproductive rights of their women and girl patients.  The IC Constitution Day event was co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Vice-President, the Politics Department, Women’s Studies and the Park Center for Independent Media.  


  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context :  explores topics including Abortion and Late-term/Partial Birth Abortion
  • "Roe v. Wade." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. Ed. Shirelle Phelps and Jeffrey Lehman. 2nd ed. Vol. 8. Detroit: Gale, 2005. 381-385. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 3 Sept. 2013.
  • Jost, K. (2010, September 10). Abortion debates. CQ Researcher, 20, 725-748. 
  • Rovner, J. (2009). Abortion. Health care policy and politics A to Z (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: CQ Press. 

Recommended Readings

Compiled by Dr. Carla Golden, Professor, Department of Psychology, Ithaca College:

Best Bets: Databases

  • Nexis Uni (replaces LexisNexis)
    Nexis Uni features more than 15,000 news, business and legal sources, including U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1790.
  • GenderWatch
    GenderWatch is a full-text database containing 140 international publications plus reports, pamphlets, papers and conference proceedings devoted to women's and gender issues. It is a repository of materials on gender issues worldwide, the evolution of the women's movement, and the changes in gender roles over the last twenty years.
  • Alternative Press Index
    Index to articles in alternative news sources. Use to research topics that may not be well covered in the mainstream press; 1991 to current.
  • Polling the Nations
    A compilation of public opinion surveys, containing the full text of questions and responses from 14,000 surveys from 1986 to the present in the United States and more than 80 other countries. Each record includes the polling organization responsible for the poll, the sample size and the date the poll was released.

Government Documents

Landmark US Cases: Abortion & Birth Control

Free access to Supreme Court facts, opinions, and oral arguments (streaming audio) from The Oyez Project: Compiled by and linking to LexisNexis Academic:
  • 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 47  Defendants, a director of medical clinic and a doctor, challenged a decision from the Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut, which convicted them of violating a state law that prohibited the dispensing or use of birth control devices to or by married couples.
  • 1973 Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113  Plaintiffs, a pregnant single woman and a married couple, and intervenor physician sued defendant district attorney challenging the constitutionality of Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. arts. 1191-1194, and 1196 (abortion laws), and sought an injunction. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas declared that the laws violated U.S. Const. amends. IX and XIV privacy rights and was vague and overbroad, but denied the injunction.
  • 1989 Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490  Appellees, public health care officials and nonprofit corporations that performed abortions, filed a class action against appellant State of Missouri, which challenged the constitutionality of a Missouri statute that regulated the performance of abortions. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit struck down several provisions of the statute pursuant to Roe v. Wade, and the State appealed from that decision.
  • 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 Petitioners, abortion clinics and physician, brought suit against respondents, the governor and others, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from five provisions of the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act of 1982, 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 3203-3220 (1990). The district court held that the provisions were unconstitutional. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part. The Court granted certiorari.
  • 2000 Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914  In an action brought by plaintiff physician challenging the constitutionality of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-328 (Supp. 1999), which criminalizes performance of "partial birth abortions," the Court granted certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to consider the appeal of defendant state attorney general from a decision that found the statute to be unconstitutional.
  • 2007 Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124  Petitioner, the United States Attorney General, sought certiorari review of judgments from the United States Courts of Appeals for the Eighth and Ninth Circuits affirming district court rulings in favor of respondents, abortion doctors and abortion advocacy groups. The rulings found the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, 18 U.S.C.S. § 1531, unconstitutional on its face and enjoined petitioner from enforcing the Act.


Policy Research: Advocacy Groups (some discovered in the CQ Researcher report listed above):

The Constitution

Constitution Day is celebrated on September 17th of each year. That is the day the Constitution was signed during the Constitutional Convention. More information and events can be found on the Constitution Day website of the National Constitution Center.

You can access high resolution images and transcripts of the Constitution and Bill of Rights through the National Archive's "Charters of Freedom" website.

Contact Us

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