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Rutgers: Abortion

What are the “Lasting Effects of Roe v. Wade”?
This was the topic of debate between BDF Senior Counsel Dorinda Bordlee and City University of New York Law Professor Caitlin Borgmann at a February 2011 event sponsored by the Rutgers Law School chapters of the Federalist Society and Law Students for Reproductive Justice.

YouTube: See BDF’s Dorinda Bordlee debate “The Lasting Effects of Roe” at Rutgers Law School.

Professor Borgmann presented the arguments embraced by the Roe Court based on the autonomy of the woman.In response, Bordlee engaged law students with an argument based on wholistic feminism, a position that integrates the interests of the woman, her child, and the often ignored duties of the father. Several of the self-professed pro-choice law students expressed interest in these arguments that they “had never heard before.”

In summary, Bordlee addressed the overwhelmingly negative lasting effects of Roe on:
  • Relationships and Family: Roe has facilitated the sexual exploitation of women, the subsequent abortion coercion of those who do not welcome her child, and has enabled men to shirk their legal and moral duties of child support and fatherly guidance.
  • Women’s Health: Roe has wrecked havoc on women’s physical and psychological health as evidenced in a mountain of peer-reviewed studies.
  • Law and Politics: Roe has distorted the proper role of the judiciary, deprived citizens of their rights to fully engage the issue of life and death in the democratic process, and has roiled American Presidential elections and judicial appointments with the never-ending subtext of abortion.

Bordlee concluded that the judicial fiat improperly expressed in Roe should be reversed so that the abortion issue can be returned to the democratic process. Citizens in our federalist society would then once again be able to fully engage the issues of the humanity of the unborn child, and the impact of abortion on women and families — via state legislation, ballot initiatives and constitutional amendment efforts.

To schedule a BDF attorney for a speaking event, or to consult with Bioethics Defense Fund on resources to help you argue the pro-life feminist position, contact us at or (504) 231-7234.

Original blog post (February 2011):