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Jones, Elizabeth. “Looking Back to Move Forward: An Intersectional Perspective on Harris v. McRae.” Georgetown Journal of Law & Modern Critical Race Perspectives 1 (Fall 2009): 379.


This article suggests a new approach to legal cases challenging the denial of funding for abortion by creating a “super-suspect” classification as a way to challenge the Harris v. McRae decision. The “super-suspect” classification involves an intersectional perspective of the individuals that Harris v. McRae mostly concerns: minority women living in poverty. The author explores this “super-suspect” classification by combining the different identities and conditions of many people impacted by the Hyde Amendment. Though it has already been established that government policies discriminating on the basis of race are “suspect,” the same has not been established for gender or wealth. The “super-suspect” classification seeks to account for the ways in which poor women of color might be facing similarly “suspect” consequences as a result of of Harris v. McRae. Furthermore, the author argues that this “super-suspect” classification requires the court to review the government’s abortion funding policies under the highest level of legal review (often referred to as strict scrutiny review). With a stricter standard of review, the government must provide compelling support of the funding restrictions and they are subject to a more stringent examination by the court. This article is a helpful source on the topics of heightened scrutiny, intersectional disparate impact, and suspect classification.


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Related Topics

Abortion funding bans   Economic justice   Legal case   Race/ethnicity: African American/Black   Intersectionality   Abortion