Courts and Public Policy

ThinkProgress with an interesting post noting that 87% of U.S. counties have no abortion provider; with Mississippi moving toward having no abortion provider.

I wonder if Roe v. Wade had not been decided in the 1970s, and states had continued to muddle through on abortion if we would have a similar epidemiology of abortion provision that we have today, but with less political toxicity around the issue? Getting a “win” for your side via a court ruling can sometimes be the only way (Brown v. Board of Education, Civil Rights cases, for example, in my opinion). In other cases, a court win could actually harm your “sides” ability to make the case politically and culturally.

This is an important consideration generally in public policy.

About Don Taylor
Professor of Public Policy (with appointments in Business, Nursing, Community and Family Medicine, and the Duke Clinical Research Institute), and Chair of the Academic Council at Duke University . I am one of the founding faculty of the Margolis Center for Health Policy. My research focuses on improving care for persons who are dying, and I am co-PI of a CMMI award in Community Based Palliative Care. I teach both undergrads and grad students at Duke. On twitter @donaldhtaylorjr

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