The Movement to Define “Fetal Personhood” Goes Way Beyond Alabama and IVF

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Episode Notes

It was a wild week at the High Court (another seven days crammed with a year’s worth of news). SCOTUS heard cases about bump stocks, and how Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito would do as Facebook content moderators. The Supreme Court also finally found the time to put a thumb on the scale for serially indicted alleged insurrector-in-chief former President Donald J Trump. We’ll talk about all those things with Slate’s very own Mark Joseph Stern.

But what we’re really focused on this week is the Alabama Supreme Court’s recent decision finding that frozen embryos are children, and the unshakeable sense that the coverage of this so far has had a slightly myopic quality, as though this case is purely about IVF, and carving out IVF, when in fact the entire movement for fetal personhood sweeps in many more people and rights than just those seeking assisted reproductive technology. We’re joined by a preeminent expert on matters of law, medicine, reproductive health, and biotechnologies, Dr. Michele Goodwin. Dr. Goodwin is the author of  Policing The Womb: Invisible Women and The Criminalization of Motherhood.  She explains (again) why we should have seen this decision coming from miles (and centuries) away.

Later in the Slate Plus segment, Mark returns to discuss this week’s SCOTUS arguments and the big news that legislative turtle and legal hellscape architect Mitch McConnell will be stepping down from his role as leader of Republicans in the Senate later this year.

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Dahlia’s book Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save America, is also available as an audiobook, and Amicus listeners can get a 25 percent discount by entering the code “AMICUS” at checkout

Courtesy Penguin

Dahlia Lithwick, one of the nation’s foremost legal commentators, tells the gripping and heroic story of the women lawyers who fought the racism, sexism, and xenophobia of Donald Trump’s presidency—and won.

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Dahlia Lithwick