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Episode 12: Reproductive Freedom: A Discussion of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

Featuring guest speaker, Mai Ratakonda of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

In Episode 12 of Notorious, we discussed the case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which addressed issues related to reproductive freedom.

At issue was a Texas Law that placed restrictions on physicians and facilities performing abortions. As a result, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether the provisions violated the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.

Writing for the majority, Justice Breyer, joined by Justices Ginsburg, Kennedy, Sotomayor, and Kagan, highlighted a balancing test. The articulated balancing test considered whether the government purposes of the law at issue outweighed the burden placed on substantive due process rights. Here, the majority found that the law imposed an undue burden on abortion access.

While joining in the majority opinion, Justice Ginsburg also wrote a concurring opinion. In her concurrence, Justice Ginsburg bluntly stated:  "[I]t is beyond rational belief that . . . [the law at issue] could genuinely protect the health of women."

Mai Ratakonda, of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, joined by Patterson Belknap attorneys, Michelle Bufano and Amy Vegari, discuss this case and Justice Ginsburg’s fight for reproductive freedom.

Related Resources:

For a selection of Justice Ginsburg’s writings, see Decisions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:  A Selection, edited by Corey Brettschneider.

For more information about Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, see

For information about becoming a guest on Notorious, email Michelle Bufano.

For questions or more information about Notorious, email Jenni Dickson.

Also, check out the Patterson Belknap podcast, How to Build A Nation in 15 Weeks.