Abortion, Dignity and a Capabilities Approach

Martha C. Nussbaum
Rosalind Dixon

The right to "dignity" has played a central role in grounding constitutional rights of access to abortion, yet the concept itself remains under-theorized. This is particularly so when it comes to the relationship between human dignity and women's physical and psychological health or integrity. This essay addresses this gap in the constitutional literature by drawing on the account of human dignity provided by a "capabilities approach"; and by explaining for the first time in detail the logical implications of such an approach for the constitutional regulation of abortion.