In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court eliminated federal constitutional protections for abortion in the United States, overruling Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. That ruling returned much regulation of abortion to state control. But it will also accelerate a longstanding trend: municipal abortion regulation. And in the current world of local government law, increased local activity brings with it the question of state preemption. This article is the first to bring together the history and trends in local abortion policy with intrastate preemption doctrine to fully canvass the post-Roe local abortion terrain. It highlights the fact that abortion localism is already with us (and unlikely to disappear), and assesses the benefits and drawbacks of that reality. As states construct the new laws of abortion, this article defines options and incentives for states, municipalities, and advocates in shaping local abortion policy for the future, and explores what the abortion fight will mean for local government law. Now, more than ever, abortion rights will change as women cross borders—the only question is how much they will change at the city line.
Lewis & Clark Law Review
Suggested Bluebook Citation
Kaitlin Ainsworth Caruso, Abortion Localism and Preemption in a Post-Roe Era, 27 Lewis & CLARK L. REV. 585 (2023).