An annotated bibliography of sources on the topic of:

Reproductive Justice

compiled and annotated by Rebecca Matta
for the course CAS CC 204: Religion and Secularism in Spring 2015

Lewis, Karen J. “Webster v Reproductive Health Services: Another Look At The Abortion Issue.” Congressional Research Service Report for Congress April 1989

This report outlines the entirety of the legal aspect of the Webster case. It explains the legal battle that led to the case being brought to the Supreme Court, and it “delineates the various ways in which the court can decide the case.” This report is useful because it contains highly reliable data, obtained and organized by the Congressional Research Service and stored in the Library of Congress, which will be used to frame the case, explain how it came to be, and portray how the Supreme Case approached the case in the Background section of my paper.

Johnson, Kirk. “Webster v Reproductive Health Services: The AMA Perspective.” American Medical Association General Counsel Sept 1989

This letter, written by the General Counsel of the American Medical Association, speaks about the medical aspect of the case. Since many of the issues raised in the Webster case were specific medical issues, such as physician’s permission to provide abortion counseling and timeframes in which abortions are allowed, I thought that this article was the most reliable source to explain these medical aspects. I can pull from this paper when explaining the specific details of the case, and provide a general consensus of what the nation’s physicians (the leading scientific community) had to say about these issues.

Tonn, Mari Boor. “Donning sackcloth and ashes: Webster and Reproductive Health Service and Moral Agony in Abortion Rights Rhetoric.” Communication Quarterly Summer 1996

In addition to providing a thorough background story for the Webster case, this article is interesting because it digs into the social anti-abortion moral arguments used surrounding the Webster case. The article points to one specific anti-abortion rhetorical argument– that a woman feels a “moral agony” after she receives an abortion because she believes in the interests of the fetus’s life. A thorough analysis of this argument is provided, which I can use either to provide background about the social arguments made against abortion, or I could use this as one of my “social science lenses.”

Dillon, Michele. “Argumentative Complexity of Abortion Discourse.” The Public Opinion Quarterly Autumn 1993

This article is very interesting because it takes 13 different pro- or anti-abortion organizations and categorizes/ranks their arguments. Therefore, this article can help to point out which arguments are strong and which are weak. Like the previous article, this article will help me shape the social arguments made for and against abortion, which will be explained in the background section of my paper. When I dig deeper and analyze the case from different lenses, this article will be useful because it will help me identify which arguments are the strongest on both sides.

Bopp, James and Coleson, Richard E. “What Does Webster Mean?” University of Pennsylvania Law Review Nov 1989

This article delves into the legal implications of the Webster case. Did the Webster ruling render Roe v Wade useless? The article claims that yes, Roe v Wade has in essence been overruled, but the Court will continue to balance the Constitutional rights with existing precedents and human rights, “both born and unborn.” This article is useful in elucidating the broad impact that the Webster case had on the abortion’s legality, which I will be explaining in the background section of my paper.

McQueen, Michel and Wermiel, Stephen. “Turning Point? Historic Court Ruling Will Widen Disparity in Access to Abortion.” Wall Street Journal July 1989

This short article demonstrates a journalistic reaction to the Webster ruling. The use of language alone, using words such as “landmark” and “watershed”, shows how monumental this case was. This article helped me chose the Webster case, and also can be used as evidence for how impactful this case was in the abortion debate.

“Two Court Cases That Inspired The March” The New York Times April 1989

This is a New York Times article about the public’s reaction to Webster case. Although this article was written before the verdict, it speaks of the marches on Washington DC being held both for and against abortion. It provides context for the case, as well as demonstrating that the public was obviously very passionate about this case. I can use this article as evidence that the American people had very polar and public stances surrounding the Webster case.

Webster v Reproductive Health Services Case No. 88-605, Case Minutes: Supreme Court Judges’ Decision, Concurrences and Dissents, July 1989, LexisNexis

This source was integral to the background section of my paper and will be integral to my analysis sections as well. This is the word-for-word final decision released by the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice on the Webster case, as well as the concurrences and dissents from the other 8 Judges. I used this source to understand and explain each Justice’s ruling in the 5th paragraph of my paper, but I will also use this source in the future to analyze what each judge’s motive behind his or her ruling was. I will pick apart the majority ruling, the concurrences, and the dissents by looking at which legal precedents they cite, examining their logic/reasoning, and identifying any moral motives displayed by the statements. This will help me answer the question of whether there really is a line between the legal/public sphere and the religious/moral sphere, or if personal morals are simply an unavoidable part of even the highest legal rulings.

Mahowald, Mary B. “Is There Life After Roe v Wade?” Hastings Center Report July/August 1989

My second social science lens that makes the claim that both sides have coinciding morals.

Locke, John. “A Letter Concerning Toleration” Constitution Society 1689

John Locke’s views on morality and how it should be dealt with in terms of the state.

<< Return to the CC 204 Bibliographies homepage