Professor Orentlicher Interviewed on Texas Radio Regarding Abortion Bill


Professor David Orentlicher gave an interview July 11 to radio station KUT, a National Public Radio affiliate in Austin, Texas. The interview is part of a story on the abortion bill currently under consideration in the Texas Legislature, which would outlaw the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy and place restrictions on clinics that perform the procedures.

The story discusses what both sides of the issue hope to gain once the legislation is challenged in the courts. Proponents quoted in the story believe medicine has changed enough since Roe v. Wade in 1973 to enable a fetus to be viable earlier in pregnancy. The 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey affirmed Roe, but gave states more leeway in regulating abortions and determining at what point a fetus is viable.

"You know, Justice [Anthony] Kennedy is the swing vote. And he was in the majority in the Casey decision," Orentlicher said in the story. "The way they put it is you can’t put an undue burden, a substantial obstacle in her path. And Texas, I think, by saying you can’t have an abortion after 20 weeks, most fetuses aren’t viable until 22, 23 weeks."

The story is available online and in audio form on the KUT website.

Professor Orentlicher is a Samuel R. Rosen Professor of Law and co-director of the William S. and Christine S. Hall Center for Law and Health. He received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

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