Reproductive Rights and Felony Disenfranchisement: The New Frontier of an Old Voter Suppression Tactic

Rubini, Jessie | April 6, 2024

Voter suppression and anti-abortion, anti-reproductive care efforts are mutually reinforcing, working together to diminish political participation, especially for women of color. I argue that politicians could use the Dobbs decision to further suppress Black voters, specifically Black women voters, by prosecuting abortions as felonies. The effect would be disenfranchisement of thousands of people. This Comment covers the connected histories of voting rights and abortion rights in America. The first section of this Comment will briefly cover the history of voting rights in America with a focus on racial discrimination. The second section will cover one voter suppression, felony disenfranchisement. Finally, in the third section I argue that Dobbs gives politicians and lawmakers a new way to increase felony disenfranchisement and decrease Black women’s voting power, and that without further advocacy against felony disenfranchisement, more women will lose the right to vote.