Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




H.N. Hirsch

Committee Member(s)

Chris Howell


Abortion, Abortion access, Reproductive rights, Reproductive justice, Supreme Court, United States, South Dakota, Oregon, State, Policy


This thesis’s driving argument is that the Court’s shift from focusing on analyzing abortion cases with strict scrutiny to using the undue burden standard allows states to create legally permissible loopholes that restrict the fundamental right to abortion access. These provisions disproportionately affect low-income women, the majority of whom are women of color in the United States. Conservative state legislatures take drastic measures to prevent abortions from occurring since Roe still holds, but instead of stopping abortions altogether these policies simply make it difficult for the most vulnerable communities to terminate unwanted pregnancies. Recall the three most commonly cited reasons people obtain abortions are concern for or responsibility to other individuals, the inability to afford a child, and the belief that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents. Half of people obtaining an abortion also said they did not want to be a single parent or were having problems with their husband or partner. Thus, restrictive abortion legislation under the undue burden standard that disparately affects low-income women perpetuates cycles of poverty when insurmountable barriers are placed in the path of those seeking the procedure- making abortion a right that is up for sale.