Joan Ruth Bader Ginsburg (March 15, 1933 – September 18, 2020) was an American lawyer and jurist who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her death in 2020.
Ginsburg discussed her views on abortion and gender equality in a 2009 New York Times interview, in which she said, "[t]he basic thing is that the government has no business making that choice for a woman." Although Ginsburg consistently supported abortion rights and joined in the Court's opinion striking down Nebraska's partial-birth abortion law in Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 (2000), on the 40th anniversary of the Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), she criticized the decision in Roe as terminating a nascent democratic movement to liberalize abortion laws which might have built a more durable consensus in support of abortion rights. Ginsburg was in the minority for Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124 (2007), a 5–4 decision upholding restrictions on partial birth abortion. In her dissent, Ginsburg opposed the majority's decision to defer to legislative findings that the procedure was not safe for women. Ginsburg focused her ire on the way Congress reached its findings and with their veracity. Joining the majority for Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, 579 U.S. 582 (2016), a case which struck down parts of a 2013 Texas law regulating abortion providers, Ginsburg also authored a short concurring opinion which was even more critical of the legislation at issue. She asserted the legislation was not aimed at protecting women's health, as Texas had said, but rather to impede women's access to abortions.