“Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)
The late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born on March 15th, 1933, and in 1956, she enrolled at Harvard Law School as one of the only women in the entire class of 500 students. Across the decades of her work in law, some of her more notable roles were being the first woman hired with tenure at the Columbia University School of Law, general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and her most recent position, a Supreme Court justice.
“Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be remembered as a champion of equality,” said Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Dean of Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School. “Her legacy, however, goes far beyond what she achieved in court. Ginsburg also should be remembered for her resilience. Personal setbacks animated her quest for social justice.“
Known to be a feminist hero, Justice Ginsberg was a long time advocate for pregnant moms. Prior to Roe v. Wade, Ruth took on Susan Struck’s case where Susan became pregnant while on active duty. e later played a role in drafting the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which prohibits employers from discriminiating against pregnant women.
Justice Ginsberg is notoriously known for her scathing dissents. She took on a plethora of notable cases over her term.
Here, we want to highlight Ruth’s contributions to women’s health and andwellness including Gonzales v. Carhart. The court case supported the 2003 federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act which would ban majority of late-term abortions. Ginsberg strongly argued that the judgement was “alarming” and it “cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right (the right of women to choose to undergo an abortion) declared again and again by this Court.”
In 2014, Ruth strongly dissented in Burnwell v. Hobby Lobby, arguing that religious beliefs or observations must not impact third parties’ rights and, in this case, women seeking contraception. In the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), certain types of preventative care, including FDA-approved contraceptive methods, must be covered by employment-based group health care plans except for religious employers and non-profit religious institutions. She warned that the Court had “ventured into a minefield” by holding “that commercial enterprises…can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.”
The 2016 landmark decision overturned an onerous Texas law (HB 2) that made it compulsory for abortion clinics to be equipped with “ambulatory surgical centers and staffed by doctors with hospital admitting privileges.” Justice Ginsbergvoiced her opinion highlighting the “extraordinary safety record of abortions and the lack of similar requirements for far more dangerous procedures.” She denounced the law, writing that “it is beyond rational belief that HB 2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and certain that the law ‘would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions.’”
Justice Ginsberg’s will be known as a feminist icon because of her hard and long fights for women’s reproductive rights.. In her personal life, she held an unwavering belief that parenting is an equal partnership with sharing an equal amounts of responsibility between parents. The equal parenting method she modeled back then is incredibly relevant to the present COVID-19-parenting style of many parents having juggling work and family life at home and women in the households carrying the majority of that burden. At FemTech Focus, we hope to continue the work that Ruth has championed and uplift womxn of all walks of life worldwide.