Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2023

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Public Policy and Law

First Advisor

Professor Adrienne Fulco

Second Advisor

Professor Glenn Falk


This thesis will examine the limitations in access to abortion and other necessary reproductive healthcare in states that are hostile to abortion rights, as well as discuss the ongoing litigation within those states between pro-choice and pro-life advocates. After analyzing the legal landscape and the different abortion laws within these states, this thesis will focus on the practical consequences of Dobbs on women’s lives, with particular attention to its impact on women of color and poor women in states with the most restrictive laws. The effect of these restrictive laws on poor women will be felt disproportionately due to their lack of ability to travel to obtain care from other states that might offer abortion services. And even if these women find a way to obtain access to abortions, there is now the real possibility of criminal prosecution for those who seek or assist women who obtain abortions post-Dobbs. To compound the problem, the Court made clear in Dobbs that its decision to revisit the privacy rights issue signals the possibility of new limitations on protections previously taken for granted in the areas of In vitro fertilization, birth control, emergency contraception, and other civil rights such as gay marriage. Finally, this thesis will examine the political and legal efforts of liberal states, private companies, and grassroots organizations attempting to mitigate Dobbs’s effects. These pro-choice actors have, to some extent, joined forces to protect access for women in the United States through protective legislation and expanding access in all facets of reproductive healthcare, particularly for minority women who will be disproportionately affected by abortion bans in conservative states. The current efforts to mitigate the legal and medical implications of Dobbs will determine the future of women’s rights in America, not only regarding abortion but more broadly in terms of adequate reproductive care access.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford CT for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy & Law.