Pregnancy, although a distinctly physical experience, has been treated in a distinctly non-physical manner within American jurisprudence. From among the several principles that might be invoked to protect a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy, courts have relied exclusively upon a broad and malleable notion of "privacy. " But the right of privacy, as framed by the courts, has failed to reflect the physical reality of women's lives. Moreover, privacy's balancing test has led to an alarming trend in American constitutional and common law toward permitting the state to intercede on behalf of its interest in a fetus, thus casting a woman as an adversary to her womb. The right of privacy is not a meaningful concept for a woman if it allows the state conceptually to sever her womb and represent its contents as a separate and identifiable interest. When the state is able to make such a representation, there are no remaining safeguards for women, no "zones of privacy" left.

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