Mary Ziegler

Profile picture for Mary Ziegler

Position Title
Professor of Law

Bio

Mary Ziegler is an expert on the law, history, and politics of reproduction, health care, and conservatism in the United States from 1945 to the present. She is one of the world’s leading historians of the U.S. abortion debate. 

She is the author of four books on social movement struggles around reproduction, autonomy, and the law, including Abortion and the Law in America: A Legal History, Roe v. Wade to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2020), Beyond Abortion: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Privacy (Harvard University Press, 2018), the award-winning After Roe: The Lost History of the Abortion Debate (Harvard University Press, 2015), which won the Harvard University Press Thomas J. Wilson Prize for best first manuscript in any discipline, and Reproduction and the Constitution (Routledge, 2022). Her new book, Dollars for Life: The Anti-Abortion Movement and the Fall of the Republican Establishment, is appearing with Yale in 2022.  

She is a graduate of Harvard College (2004) and Harvard Law School (2007). Before coming to Davis, she was a professor at Florida State University College of Law, where she won several teaching awards, and the Daniel P.S. Paul Visiting Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School. She is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, the AtlanticPBS NewshourCNN, and the Washington Post. 

She is working on a history of the nation’s fixation with Roe v. Wade for Yale University Press and editing a comparative volume on the laws of abortion around the world for Elgar Press. 

*Appointment begins Fall 2022

Education and Degree(s)
  • Harvard Law School, J. D., cum laude, June 2007
  • Harvard College, B.A., magna cum laude, English and American Literature and Language and Romance Languages and Literatures, 2004
Honors and Awards
  • Thomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize for Best First Book in Any Genre, Harvard University Press, 2014
  • University Teaching Award, Florida State University, 2016
  • The Transformation Through Teaching Award, Florida State University, 2015
Research Interests & Expertise
  • Torts
  • Constitutional Law
  • Reproductive Rights and Justice
  • Gender, Sexuality and Law
  • Legal History
  • Employment Law
Membership and Service
  • Executive Committee, American Society for Legal History, 2020-
  • Executive Committee, American Association of Law Schools Section on Legal History, 2020-
  • Chair, American Association of Law Schools Section on Legal History, 2016-2017
  • Co-Chair, American Bar Association Committee on Historic Commemorations, 2016-
  • Chair, Cromwell Article Prize Committee, American Society for Legal History, 2016-2017
  • Cromwell Article Prize Committee, American Society for Legal History, 2015-2017
  • Program Committee, American Society for Legal History, 2016-
  • Chair-Elect, American Association of Law Schools Section on Legal History, January 2015-January 2015
  • Secretary, American Association of Law Schools Section on Legal History, January 2015-December 2015
  • Treasurer, American Association of Law Schools Section on Legal History, January 2014-December 2014

Publications

BOOKS AND BOOK CHAPTERS 

WHEN WE TALK ABOUT ROE: A HISTORY (forthcoming, Yale University Press, 2023) 

DOLLARS FOR LIFE: THE ANTIABORTION MOVEMENT AND THE FALL OF THE REPUBLICAN ESTABLISHMENT (forthcoming, Yale University Press, 2022) 

RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON INTERNATIONAL ABORTION LAW (editor) (forthcoming, 2023, Elgar Press) 

ABORTION AND THE CONSTITUTION (Routledge Press, 2022) 

ABORTION IN AMERICA: A LEGAL HISTORY, ROE V. WADE TO THE PRESENT (Cambridge University Press, 2020) 

BEYOND ABORTION: ROE V. WADE AND THE FIGHT FOR PRIVACY (Harvard University Press, 2018) 

AFTER ROE: THE LOST HISTORY OF THE ABORTION DEBATE (Harvard University Press, 2015) 

Before Roe v. Wade, CAMBRIDGE HISTORY OF SEXUALITY IN THE UNITED STATES eds. Nicholas Syrett and Jennifer Mannion (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press)  

Introduction, in THE RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON INTERNATIONAL ABORTION LAW, editor Mary Ziegler (forthcoming, Elgar, 2023) 

From Reproductive Rights to Reproductive Justice, in THE OXFORD HANDBOOK OF FEMINISM LAW IN THE UNITED STATES, eds. Deborah Brake, Martha Chamallas, and Verna Williams (forthcoming, Oxford University Press) 

Roe v. Wade and the Cultural Politics of Abortion, in THE COMPANION TO THE POLITICS OF AMERICAN HEALTH, eds. Sophia A. Jones and Martin Halliwell (forthcoming, University of Edinburgh Press) 

Comment: Young v. UPS, in FEMINIST JUDGMENTS: REWRITTEN REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE, ed. Kim Mutcherson (Cambridge University Press, 2019) 

Twentieth Century Legal History, in THE HISTORY OF THE TWENTIETH-CENTURY UNITED STATES (Routledge, 2018) 

Roe v. Wade, in THE OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN HISTORY (Oxford, 2017) 

A Provider’s Right to Choose: A Legal History, in ABORTION IN TRANSNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE ed. Shannon Stetner et al. (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2017) 

Comment: Harris v. McRae, in FEMINIST JUDGMENTS: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE, eds. Linda Berger,  

Bridget Crawford, and Kathy Stanchi (Cambridge University Press, 2016) 

ARTICLES 

THE END OF ROE V. WADE, American Journal of Bioethics (forthcoming 2022) 

UNESSENTIAL: ABORTION LAW BEFORE AND AFTER COVID-19, Cornell Law Review Online (forthcoming 2022) 

UNSETTLED LAW: SOCIAL-MOVEMENT CONFLICT, STARE DECISIS, AND ROE V. WADE, Connecticut Law Review (Forthcoming 2022) 

ABORTION AND THE LAW OF INNOCENCE, 2021 Illinois Law Review 865 (2021) 

CONTESTING THE LEGACY OF THE NINETEENTH AMENDMENT: ABORTION AND EQUALITY FROM ROE V. WADE TO THE PRESENT, Colorado Law Review (2021) 

BAD EFFECTS: THE MISUSE OF HISTORY IN BOX V. PLANNED PARENTHOOD, Cornell Law Review Online 105: 165 (2020) 

MEN’S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS, Pepperdine Law Review 47: 665 (2020) 

EARNED RIGHTS, N.Y.U. J. L. & Soc. Change 40: 261 (2020) 

TAMING UNWORKABILITY DOCTRINE: RETHINKING STARE DECISIS, Arizona Law Review 50: 1215 (2019) 

WHAT IS RACE? Connecticut Law Review 50: 279 (2018) 

BEYOND BALANCING: RETHINKING THE LAW OF EMBRYO DISPOSITION, American University Law Review 68: 515 (2018) 

RETHINKING AN UNDUE BURDEN: WHOLE WOMAN’S HEALTH’S NEW APPROACH TO FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, Tennessee Law Review 85: 461 (2018) 

AFTER LIFE: GOVERNMENTAL INTERESTS AND THE NEW ANTIABORTION INCREMENTALISM, University of Miami Law Review 73: 78 (2018) 

THE JURISPRUDENCE OF UNCERTAINTY: KNOWLEDGE, SCIENCE, AND ABORTION, Wisconsin Law Review 2018: 317 (2018) 

WHAT IS SEXUAL ORIENTATION? Kentucky Law Review 106:61 (2018) 

SOME KIND OF PUNISHMENT: PENALIZING WOMEN FOR ABORTION, William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal 26:735 (2018) 

THE NEW NEGATIVE RIGHTS: ABORTION FUNDING AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAW AFTER WHOLE WOMAN’S HEALTH V. HELLERSTEDT, Nebraska Law Review 96: 577 (2018) 

FACING THE FACTS: THE NEW ERA OF ABORTION CONFLICT AFTER WHOLE WOMAN’S HEALTH, Wake Forest Law Review 52:231 (2018) 

LIBERTY AND THE POLITICS OF BALANCE: THE UNDUE-BURDEN TEST AFTER WHOLE WOMAN’S HEALTH V. HELLERSTEDT, Harvard Civil-Rights Civil-Liberties Review 52:421 (2017) 

SUBSTANTIAL UNCERTAINTY: WHOLE WOMAN’S HEALTH V. HELLERSTEDT AND THE FUTURE OF ABORTION LAW, Supreme Court Review 2016: 77 (2017) 

THE DISABILITY POLITICS OF ABORTION, Utah Law Review 2017: 587 (2017) 

REPRODUCING RIGHTS: RETHINKING THE COSTS OF CONSTITUTIONAL DISCOURSE, Yale Journal of Law & Feminism 28: 103 (2016) 

PERCEIVING ORIENTATION: DEFINING SEXUALITY AFTER OBGERGEFELL, Duke Journal of Gender Law &Policy 23: 223 (2016) 

THE CONSERVATIVE MAGNA CARTA, North Carolina Law Review 94:1653 (2016) 

CHOICE AT WORK: YOUNG V. UNITED PARCEL SERVICE, PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION, AND REPRODUCTIVE LIBERTY, Denver University Law Review 93:219 (2015) 

THE (NON-) RIGHT TO SEX, University of Miami Law Review 69:631 (2015) 

IDENTITY CONTESTS: LITIGATION AND THE MEANING OF SOCIAL-MOVEMENT CAUSES, University of Colorado Law Review 86: 1274 (2015) 

ORIGINALISM TALK: A LEGAL HISTORY, Brigham Young University Law Review 2014: 869 (2015) 

BOOK REVIEW: ESTELLE B. FREEDMAN, REDEFINING RAPE: SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN THE ERA OF SUFFRAGE AND SEGREGATION, Law and History Review 33: 251 (2015) 

ABORTION AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT (NOT) TO PROCREATE, University of Richmond Law Review 48: 1263 (2014) 

THE PRICE OF PRIVACY, 1973 TO THE PRESENT, Harvard Journal of Law and Gender 37: 285 (2014) 

BEYOND BACKLASH: LEGAL HISTORY, POLARIZATION, AND ROE V. WADE, Washington and Lee Law Review 71: 969 (2014) 

ROE’S RACE: THE SUPREME COURT, POPULATION CONTROL, AND REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE, Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 25:1 (lead article; 2013) 

WOMEN’S RIGHTS ON THE RIGHT: THE HISTORY AND STAKES OF MODERN PRO-LIFE FEMINISM, Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law, and Justice 28:232 (2013) 

GRASSROOTS ORIGINALISM: JUDICIAL ACTIVISM ARGUMENTS, THE ABORTION DEBATE, AND THE POLITICS OF JUDICIAL PHILOSOPHY, University of Louisville Law Review 51: 201(2013) 

AN INCOMPLETE REVOLUTION: FEMINISTS AND THE LEGACY OF MARITAL-PROPERTY REFORM, Michigan Journal of Gender and Law 19: 259 (Lead Article; 2013) 

SEXING HARRIS: THE LAW AND POLITICS OF THE MOVEMENT TO DEFUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD, Buffalo Law Review 60: 701 (2012) 

BOOK REVIEW: MARC STEIN, SEXUAL INJUSTICE: SUPREME COURT DECISIONS FROM GRISWOLD TO ROE, Law and History Review 30:279 (2012) 

THE TERMS OF THE DEBATE: LITIGATION, ARGUMENTATIVE STRATEGIES, AND COALITIONS IN THE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE STRUGGLE, Florida State University Law Review 39:467 (2012) 

THE POSSIBILITY OF COMPROMISE: ANTIABORTION MODERATES AFTER ROE V. WADE, 1973-1980, Chicago-Kent Law Review 87:571 (2012) 

THE BONDS THAT TIE: THE POLITICS OF MOTHERHOOD AND THE FUTURE OF ABORTION RIGHTS, Texas Journal of Women and the Law 21:47 (2011); selected for republication in WOMEN AND THE LAW (West, 2012) 

EDELIN: THE REMAKING OF THE HEADLINE ABORTION TRIAL, Saint Louis University Law Journal 55: 1379 (2011) 

FRAMING CHANGE: CAUSE LAWYERING, CONSTITUTIONAL DECISIONS, AND SOCIAL CHANGE, Marquette Law Review 94:263 (2010) 

WAYS TO CHANGE: A REEVALUATION OF ARTICLE V CAMPAIGNS AND LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONALISM, Brigham Young University Law Review 2009:969 (2009)  

THE FRAMING OF A RIGHT TO CHOOSE: ROE V. WADE AND THE CHANGING DEBATE ON ABORTION LAW, Law and History Review 27:281 (2009) 

REINVENTING EUGENICS: REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE AND LAW REFORM AFTER WORLD WAR II, Cardozo Journal of Law and Gender 14:319 (2008) 

EUGENIC FEMINISM: MENTAL HYGIENE, THE WOMEN’S MOVEMENT, AND THE CAMPAIGN FOR EUGENIC LEGAL REFORM, 1900-1935, Harvard Journal of Law and Gender 31:211 (2008) 

SELECT OP-EDS AND POPULAR WRITINGS 

THE CONSERVATIVES ARE NOT JUST ENDING ROE. THEY’RE DELIGHTING IN IT, Atlantic, May 3, 2022 

THERE’S NO TELLING WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ROE V. WADE FALLS, Atlantic, April 25, 2022 

WE MAY END UP LIVING IN THREE AMERICAS IF ROE V. WADE IS DECIMATED, New York Times, February 17, 2022 

THE CONSERVATIVE JUSTICES DON’T SEEM TOO WORRIED ABOUT THE COURT’S LEGITIMACY, Atlantic, February 16, 2022 

WHAT THE TEXAS ABORTION DECISION PORTENDS FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS, CNN, December 12, 2021 

THE COURT INVITES AN ERA OF CONSTITUTIONAL CHAOS, Atlantic, December 10, 2021 

THE END OF ROE IS COMING, AND IT IS COMING SOON, New York Times, December 2, 2021 

GINSBURG ONCE DEFINED THE COURT’S VISION OF EQUALITY. NOW BARRETT DOES, Washington Post, December 3, 2021 

SUPREME COURT SEEMS READY TO LAUNCH A LEGAL AND POLITICAL EARTHQUAKE, CNN, December 3, 2021  

THE END OF ROE, Atlantic, December 2, 2021 

WOMEN CAN’T AFFORD TO LOSE ROE V. WADE’S TIMELINE, Boston Globe, December 1, 2021 

HERE’S WHAT SHOULD WORRY LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES ABOUT THE FATE OF ROE V. WADE, Politico, December 1, 2021 

FOR THE JUSTICES, SB8 IS MORE ABOUT COURT POWER THAN ABORTION RIGHTS, Politico, November 3, 2021 

WITH ROE V. WADE IN TROUBLE AGAIN, A DIFFERENT STRATEGY MAY BE REQUIRED, Boston Globe, November 3, 2021 (with Linda McClain) 

THE FEDERAL SUIT AGAINST TEXAS’S ABORTION LAW MAY FAIL. IT’S STILL WORTHWHILE, Washington Post, September 11, 2021 

THE JUSTICES ARE TELLING US WHAT THEY THINK ABOUT ROE V. WADE, Atlantic, September 3, 2021 

THE SINISTER GENIUS OF THE TEXAS ABORTION LAW, CNN, September 3, 2021 

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IN TEXAS? Boston Globe, September 3, 2021 (with Rachel Rebouché) 

THE DEVIOUSNESS OF TEXAS’S NEW ABORTION LAW, Atlantic, September 1, 2021 

TEXAS HAS CLEARED A PATH TO THE END OF ROE V. WADE, New York Times, August 26, 2021 

HOW THE ANTI-ABORTION USED THE PROGRESSIVE PLAYBOOK TO ATTACK ROE V. WADE, Politico, June 13, 2021(with Robert Tsai) 

THE ABORTION FIGHT HAS NEVER BEEN ABOUT JUST ROE V. WADE, Atlantic, May 20, 2021 

ABORTION IS LEGAL UNTIL A FETUS IS VIABLE. WILL THE SUPREME COURT CHANGE THAT? Washington Post, May 18, 2021 

THIS COULD BE THE CASE THAT TAKES DOWN ROE V. WADE, CNN, May 18, 2021 

ARKANSAS ABORTION BAN ISN’T A LAW. IT’S A MESSAGE, CNN, March 11, 2021 

SOUTH CAROLINA SHOWS WHERE THE ANTIABORTION MOVEMENT IS HEADED, New York Times, March 3, 2021 

HOW RAPHAEL WARNOCK CAME TO BE AN ABORTION-RIGHTS OUTLIER, Atlantic, December 29, 2020 

ABORTION POLITICS POLARIZED BEFORE ROE. WHEN IT’S GONE, THE FIGHTING WON’T STOP, Washington Post, October 23, 2020 

THE SECRET CODE OF THE AMY CONEY BARRETT HEARING, Atlantic, October 14, 2020 

WITH A CONSERVATIVE COURT, ABORTION FOES COULD END ROE—AND GO EVEN FURTHER, Washington Post, September 23, 2020 

A DANGEROUS MOMENT FOR THE COURT, Atlantic, September 21, 2020 

HOW GINSBURG MADE THE LAW FAIRER FOR EVERY WOMAN, CNN, September 19, 2020 

HOW THE SUPREME COURT COULD OVERTURN ROE—ALL WHILE CLAIMING TO RESPECT PRECEDENT, Washington Post, July 1, 2020 

SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES ARE LEARNING ALL THE WRONG LESSONS FROM TRUMP, Atlantic, June 30, 2020 

HOW NOT TO OUTLAW ABORTION, New York Times, June 29, 2020 

AFTER SUPREME COURT DEFEAT, ABORTION FOES ARE AT A CROSSROADS, CNN, June 29, 2020 

WHAT NORMA MCCORVEY BELIEVES MATTERS, Atlantic, May 31, 2020  

THE NARROW DEFINITION OF “PRO-LIFE” IS FUELING DISREGARD FOR LIVES DURING COVID-19, Washington Post, May 1, 2020 

THE HEARTBEAT BILLS WERE NEVER THE REAL THREAT TO ABORTION RIGHTS, New York Times, March 3, 2020 

SUPREME COURT WILL CONSIDER WHETHER STATES CAN ‘PROTECT’ WOMEN FROM ABORTION. WHAT’S BEHIND THAT ARGUMENT?, Washington Post, March 3, 2020 

DOES ABORTION HURT WOMEN? A SUBTLE NEW ATTACK ON ABORTION IS ARRIVING AT THE SUPREME COURT, Newsweek, March 2, 2020 

THE END OF THE RAPE AND INCEST EXCEPTION, New York Times, Jun. 11, 2019 

ABORTION OPPONENTS THINK THEY’RE WINNING. HAVE THEY SET THEMSELVES UP TO FAIL?, New York Times, May 15, 2019 

WHAT CLARENCE THOMAS GETS WRONG ABOUT THE TIES BETWEEN ABORTION AND EUGENICS, Washington Post, May 30, 2019 

THE TWO SIDES ARE GROWING FURTHER APART ON ABORTION. WE CAN THANK DONALD TRUMP, Washington Post, April 1, 2019 

THE CULTURE WAR’S LONE SURVIVOR, Washington Post, January 28, 2019 

HOW THE ABORTION WARS BECAME A FIGHT OVER SCIENCE, New York Times, January 22, 2019 

THE INSIDIOUS UNRAVELING OF ABORTION RIGHTS IN AMERICA, Newsweek, December 16, 2018 

BRETT KAVANUGH COULD SHATTER THE ALLIANCE BETWEEN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND THE ANTIABORTION MOVEMENT, Washington Post, September 4, 2018 

HOW ROE IS LIKELY TO GO: NOT WITH A BANG, BUT A WHIMPER, New York Daily News, July 10, 2018 

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE OF ABORTION RIGHTS LOOK LIKE? Atlantic, July 2, 2018 

THE SUPREME COURT’S BIG ABORTION HYPOCRISY, Washington Post, June 27, 2018 

THE MOVEMENT THAT COULD RESHAPE THE ABORTION FIGHT, Washington Post, March 20, 2018 

ROE V. WADE WAS ABOUT MORE THAN ABORTION, New York Times, January 21, 2018 

WHEN ROE V. WADE MEANT MORE THAN JUST ABORTION RIGHTS, Washington Post, Jan. 22, 2018 

OHIO’S NEW ABORTION LAW IS AN ASSAULT ON ROE. HERE’S WHY IT WON’T WORK, Washington Post, December 9, 2016 

WHERE THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT GOES NEXT, New York Times, July 2, 2016 

THE SUPREME COURT’S TEXAS ABORTION RULING REIGNITES A BATTLE ABOUT THE FACTS, Washington Post, June 28, 2016 

EVERYONE AGREES THAT WOMEN WHO HAVE ABORTIONS SHOULD NOT BE PUNISHED. OR DO THEY?, Washington Post, April 1, 2016