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Louisiana Law Review

Abstract

Some experts in the field have defined the year 2019 as “a critical time for abortion rights,” since during the first half of the year alone 19 American states enacted almost 60 abortion restrictions, including 26 abortion bans, and state legislators have introduced many more. This Article reevaluates whether these recent shifts may amount to a real legal tsunami that could yield a new Archimedean point for women’s and fetuses’ rights, or only a temporary and shallow wave, which will probably abate after the Trump presidency. After exploring in a nutshell the recent restrictive as well as liberal developments in American abortion regulation, this Article will extensively elaborate on the real meaning and consequences of the 2019 Alabama case of “Baby Roe.” This Article will critically examine whether this is indeed a groundbreaking precedent with far-reaching results or just an additional local ruling in a state with one of the most stringent policies on abortion in the United States. After briefly exploring the two main and central doctrines—best interests of the child and protection of his rights—this Article will thoroughly and comprehensively discuss their problematic and nuanced implementation in the hotly debated issue of abortion. Finally, this Article will discuss whether the country is slowly but surely stepping towards a new conceptualization of the fetus’s rights and more broadly towards a new Archimedean point for maternal versus fetal rights.

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