While considering the dark history that links the regulation of women’s sexuality to governmental efforts to restrain women’s political, social, and economic power, this note argues that the Federal Administration under the 45th President of the United States is unconstitutionally relying on the veil of morality to regulate sexuality and reproductive rights. To provide context on how sexual regulation is a tool of women’s oppression, the note offers a brief background on the importance of contraception to women’s equality and, thus, a women’s potential for power. It then lays the groundwork for how power is defined and maintained—particularly through the regulation of sexuality—and elaborates on the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence surrounding the use of morality in decision-making. Last, the note discusses the then-and-now of the “Procreation Prescription,” specifically focusing on the federal government’s recent actions to curtail women’s sexual and reproductive freedom. The note contextualizes these actions with the government’s prior reliance on different versions of morality to limit women’s sexual autonomy.
My sincerest gratitude to the incredible Editorial Board and Staff of the CUNY Law Review for their time and enthusiasm, particularly Francesca Buarne for her thoughtful feedback. I would also like to thank Professor Ruthann Robson for her inspiration and guidance. This note is dedicated to the waves of strong, empowering women out there, but especially Annie, who has challenged these systems with grace.
The Procreation Prescription: Sexuality, Power, and the Veil of Morality,
CUNY L. Rev.
Available at: https://academicworks.cuny.edu/clr/vol22/iss1/11