Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Abortion

Supreme Court Justice (nominated by Pres. Clinton 1993)


Government should fund abortion and childbirth equally

SEN. GRAHAM: Here is what Justice Ginsburg said in an article she wrote titled, “Some Thoughts on Autonomy and Equality in Relationship to Roe v. Wade.”
“The conflict is not simply one between a fetus’ interest and a woman’s interest.. Also in the balance is a woman’s autonomous charge of her full life’s course, her ability to stand in relation to men, society and to stay as an independent, self-sustaining equal citizen. As long as the government paid for childbirth, the argument proceeded, public funding could not be denied for abortion, often a safer and always a far-less expensive course short and long term. By paying for childbirth but not abortion, the government increased spending and intruded upon or steered a choice Roe had ranked as a woman’s fundamental right.“

GRAHAM: That writing suggests that not only is Roe an important constitutional right to the author, but that government ought to pay for abortions in certain circumstances.

Source: Sam Alito Senate Confirmation Hearings , Jan 11, 2006

It’s a woman’s body and a woman’s choice

Senator Hank Brown: [Asked Ginsburg about] equal rights for men and women on the question of abortion.

Ginsburg: I will rest my answer on the Casey decision, which says in the end it’s her body, her life, and men - to that extent - are not similarly situated. They don’t bear the child.

Brown: [Asked to explain further about whether] the rights of men and women are not equal in this case.

Ginsburg: I said on the equality side of it, that it is essential to a woman’s equality with man that she be the decision-maker, that her choice be controlling. If you impose restraints, you are disadvantaging her because of her sex.. The state controlling a woman would mean denying her full autonomy and full equality.

Source: Senate Nomination Hearing, excerpts in NY Times , Jul 22, 1993

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Other Justices on Abortion: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on other issues:
Samuel Alito
Stephen Breyer
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Elena Kagan
Anthony Kennedy
John Roberts
Antonin Scalia
Sonia Sotomayor
Clarence Thomas

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Sandra Day O'Connor
William Rehnquist
John Paul Stevens

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Page last updated: Jul 13, 2015