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General News    H3'ed 7/1/22

Michele Goodwin on Abortion (REVIEW ESSAY)

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Michele Goodwin - .Reproductive Justice in An Era of Resistance.
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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) July 1, 2022: After I posted my OEN article "Samuel Alito on Abortion" about the Supreme Court's disturbing Dobbs ruling, overturning the 1973 Supreme Court's Roe ruling and the constitutional right to abortion (dated June 26, 2022), I read the prolific law-school professor Michele Goodwin's guest essay "No, Justice Alito, Reproductive Justice Is in the Constitution" in the New York Times (dated June 26, 2022).

See my OEN article: Click Here

See Michele Goodwin's article: Click Here

Michele Goodwin is a law-school professor at the University of California - Irvine. She received her doctor of juridical science degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2004, her master of laws degree from there in 2000, and her juris doctor degree from Boston College in 1995. As an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, she triple majored in sociology, anthropology, and African languages and literature, graduating in May 1992. She is, most recently, the sole author of the book Policing the Womb: The New Race & Class Politics of Reproduction (Cambridge University Press, 2020). She maintains an informative website:

According to the Wikipedia entry for Gregory Shaffer, also a law-school professor at UC-Irvine, he is married to Michele Goodwin, and they have two children. According to her 39-page cv, the multi-talented Michele Goodwin is conversant in Italian and has studied French, German, and Hausa. In addition to being an indefatigable commentator, she coached 7/8th grade volleyball at Alcott Elementary School (2003-2007).

Michele Goodwin is also the author of the guest essay "I Was Raped by My Father. An Abortion Saved My Life" in the New York Times (dated November 30, 2021): Click Here

According to Michele Goodwin, her father first raped her on the morning of her tenth birthday. Subsequently, he got her pregnant. "At age 12, I was pregnant by my father, and I had an abortion."

In any event, in Michele Goodwin's guest essay "No, Justice Alito, Reproductive Justice Is in the Constitution" - in the 13th and 14th Amendments, she argues.

Michele Goodwin says the following: "Black women's sexual subordination and forced pregnancies were foundational to slavery. . . . Ending the forced sexual and reproductive servitude of Black girls and women was a critical part of the passage of the 13th and 14th Amendments. The overturning of Roe v. Wade reveals the Supreme Court's neglectful reading of the amendments that abolished slavery and guaranteed all people equal protection under the law. It means the erasure of Black women from the Constitution. Mandated, forced or compulsory pregnancy contravenes enumerated rights in the Constitution, namely the 13th Amendment's prohibition against involuntary servitude and protection of bodily autonomy, as well as the 14th Amendment's defense of privacy and freedom.

"This Supreme Court demonstrates a selective and opportunistic interpretation of the Constitution and legal history, which ignores the intent of the 13th and 14th Amendments, especially as related to Black women's bodily autonomy and privacy which extended beyond freeing them from labor in cotton fields to shielding them from rape and forced reproduction. The horrors inflicted on Black women during slavery, especially sexual violations and forced pregnancies, have been all but wiped from cultural and legal memory. Ultimately, this failure disserves all women."

Conversely, Michele Goodwin's restoration of the horrors inflicted on Black women during slavery, especially sexual violation and forced pregnancies, to our collective cultural and legal memory serves all women today.

To check out Michele Goodwin's claims about the import of the 13th and 14th Amendments, Google for the 13th and 14th Amendments and read them for yourself.

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)

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