AI Regulation: Reflections from Roe v. Wade (1973)

Photos © Aditya Mohan. These views are not legal advice but business opinion based on reading some English text written by a set of intelligent people.


The novelty in the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade (1973) lay in its application of the constitutional right to privacy to a woman's right to choose an abortion. This was groundbreaking for several reasons: it established a new legal framework, balanced individual rights with state interests, and catalyzed ongoing debates about personal autonomy and state regulation. These principles provide valuable insights as we grapple with the challenge of regulating artificial intelligence (AI).

Roe v. Wade was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court recognized a woman's right to privacy under the Fourteenth Amendment, encompassing her decision to terminate a pregnancy. This decision not only transformed the legal landscape regarding reproductive rights but also set a precedent for how privacy and individual autonomy could be protected against state interference. The Court's nuanced approach in balancing these rights with state interests has influenced numerous subsequent rulings and remains a touchstone in debates about personal freedoms and state regulation.

In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade and eliminating the federal constitutional right to abortion. This ruling ended nearly 50 years of precedent and marked a historical moment where the Court took away a previously recognized fundamental right. In the aftermath, more than a dozen states have enacted outright abortion bans, forcing individuals to travel great distances for abortion care or to carry unwanted pregnancies, raising significant human rights concerns.

Immanuel Kant's Imperative

This article explores how the insights from Roe v. Wade can inform AI regulation by addressing the following key areas:

By reflecting on the lessons from Roe v. Wade, we aim to highlight the importance of a balanced, adaptive, and ethical approach to AI regulation, ensuring that technological advancements benefit society while respecting individual rights and promoting justice.

Roe v. Wade (1973) 

Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade (1973) application of the constitutional right to privacy to a woman's right to choose an abortion was groundbreaking for several reasons:

Historical Context

A clinic with Dr. Henry Morgentaler, a key figure in the movement for abortion rights and healthcare access.

Today's Context

Reflections on AI Regulation in Light of Roe and Dobbs


Reflecting on Roe v. Wade and Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization offers valuable insights for approaching AI regulation. Emphasizing the balance of rights and interests, the need for adaptive and risk-based frameworks, the importance of ethical considerations, the role of precedent and flexibility, and the necessity of transparency and accountability can guide the development of fair, effective, and dynamic regulatory structures for AI. These principles can help navigate the complex landscape of AI regulation, ensuring it serves the public interest while protecting individual rights.

A protest led by prominent women's rights activist Gloria Steinem.

Further read