GPO-CONAN-2017-10-15.pdf

Although the court expressly reaffirmed roe v wade in

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Although the Court expressly reaffirmed Roe v. Wade in 1983, 596 its 1989 decision in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services 597 sig- naled the beginning of a retrenchment. Webster upheld two aspects of a Missouri statute regulating abortions: a prohibition on the use of public facilities and employees to perform abortions not neces- sary to save the life of the mother; and a requirement that a physi- cian, before performing an abortion on a fetus she has reason to believe has reached a gestational age of 20 weeks, make an actual viability determination. 598 This retrenchment was also apparent in 595 “An indigent woman who desires an abortion suffers no disadvantage as a consequence of Connecticut’s decision to fund childbirth; she continues as before to be dependent on private sources for the services she desires. The State may have made childbirth a more attractive alternative, thereby influencing the woman’s deci- sion, but it has imposed no restriction on access to abortions that was not already there.” Maher , 432 U.S. at 469–74 (the quoted sentence is at 474); Harris , 448 U.S. at 321–26. Justices Brennan, Marshall, and Blackmun dissented in both cases and Justice Stevens joined them in Harris . Applying the same principles, the Court held that a municipal hospital could constitutionally provide hospital services for indi- gent women for childbirth but deny services for abortion. Poelker v. Doe, 432 U.S. 519 (1977). 596 City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, 462 U.S. 416, 419–20 (1983). In refusing to overrule Roe v. Wade, the Court merely cited the principle of stare decisis . Justice Powell’s opinion of the Court was joined by Chief Justice Burger, and by Justices Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun, and Stevens. Justice O’Connor, joined by Justices White and Rehnquist, dissented, voicing disagreement with the trimes- ter approach and suggesting instead that throughout pregnancy the test should be the same: whether state regulation constitutes “unduly burdensome interference with [a woman’s] freedom to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy.” 462 U.S. at 452, 461. In the 1986 case of Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 476 U.S. 747 (1986), Justice White, joined by Justice Rehnquist, ad- vocated overruling of Roe v. Wade, Chief Justice Burger thought Roe v. Wade had been extended to the point where it should be reexamined, and Justice O’Connor repeated misgivings expressed in her Akron dissent. 597 492 U.S. 490 (1989). 598 The Court declined to rule on several other aspects of Missouri’s law, includ- ing a preamble stating that life begins at conception, and a prohibition on the use of public funds to encourage or counsel a woman to have a nontherapeutic abortion. 1943 AMENDMENT 14—RIGHTS GUARANTEED
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two 1990 cases in which the Court upheld both one-parent and two- parent notification requirements.
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