Golden Gate University Law Review


Hedy R. Bower


This comment will explore the question of whether a state can take a pregnant woman into custody and subject her to prenatal care despite her religious beliefs that prohibit her from seeking medical care. Part II of this comment explains the historical development of a woman's fundamental right to privacy in making decisions concerning her pregnancy. Part II also discusses the limited contexts in which a fetus has rights, a person's right to free exercise of religion, and a person's freedom to refuse medical care. Part III addresses the legal procedures by which a state may confine a person against her will and how this implicates a person's right to due process. Part IV critiques the Massachusetts court's forced confinement of Corneau. Part V discusses what a state should do when confronted with a pregnant woman who refuses medical care due to her religious belief that to receive medical care is to "bow to a false God."