UC Law SF Journal on Gender and Justice


Laura Oren


The United States Supreme Court's views about motherhood must be teased out from holdings it fails to connect into a coherent whole. The Justices have considered issues relating to women's physical and social reproductive roles in four major areas: comparative family relationships (unwed mothers versus unwed fathers), dependent mothers, mothers in the workplace, and the right to choose or refuse to become a mother. Despite some positive developments and much lip service, the Court's jurisprudence of motherhood fails to follow one of the fundamental precepts of our culture - "Honor Thy Mother."