RU 486 Examined: Impact of a New Technology on an 0 Id Controversy

Abortion is an extremely divisive issue in American politics and culture. Prothro begins this Article by analyzing the current legal standards governing reproduction, which draw a sharp distinction between abortion and contraception. Prothro then examines the function of RU 486, demonstrating that it acts both as a contraceptive and as an abortifacient. Because of this dual capacity, RU 486 does not fit neatly into the current legal framework. Prothro concludes this Article by arguing that RU 486 should force the Supreme Court to create a new framework for the “procreative right.” Prothro argues that this new framework should treat the procreative right as a continuum, basing legal protections on a close analysis of the rights at stake, rather than on artificial distinctions that do not accurately mirror the physiological process of pregnancy. This new continuum analysis, Prothro contends, will expand and deepen the abortion debate by focusing it on the broader issues underlying the current debate.