Law Case Study

2098 words - 9 pages

Spring 2013

Summary of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992).

In 1973 Roe v. Wade created a political and legal uproar on issue of abortion. Under due process clause of the 14th Amendment, which declares that “no State shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law”. This due process of law has not been completely understood though court has spent years of defining redefining each component of due process clause. Women’s decision to have abortion before viability of fetus and to obtain it without interference from State .Interest of State to protect prenatal life and create hurdles for Women’s right to choose ...view middle of the document...

If a minor is seeking abortion Parents’ consent must be taken. A married woman seeking abortion must sign a statement saying that she has informed her spouse about her intent of having an abortion. The act also imposed reporting requirements on the facilities that provide abortions.
These Provisions were challenged by abortion clinics and physicians. They brought suit against the Respondent: Robert P. Casey, Governor of Pennsylvania, and others seek relief from these provisions of Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act. The district court held these provisions unconstitutional. The United States court of Appeals for the third Circuit reversed in part saying only the husband notification provision was unconstitutional. The court applied the doctrine of stare decisis and reaffirmed the essential holdings in Roe v. Wade.
The US court for eastern district of Pennsylvania held all provisions were unconstitutional. The United States Court of Appeals for the third circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the provisions holding spousal requirement unconstitutional and so did the US Supreme Court. The supreme court further acknowledged the woman has right to choose abortions before the fetus is viable and the state has power to restrict abortion after fetus is viable provided it does not endanger the life of the woman.
The constitutionality of several Pennsylvania state regulations regarding abortion was challenged in this case. A Pennsylvania law that required spousal awareness prior to obtaining an abortion was invalid under the Fourteenth Amendment because it created an undue burden on married women seeking an abortion. Requirements for parental consent, informed consent, and 24-hour waiting period were constitutionally valid regulations. Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part. Five provisions of the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act of 1982 were being challenged as unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade, which first recognized a constitutional right to have an abortion in the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The plurality, an opinion from a group of judges, reiterated what the Court had said in Eisenstadt v. Baird: "If the right of privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters and so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child."
One of the main issues being challenged in this case was that spousal notification imposed undue burden. In a serious matter such as abortion, it seems obvious that the mother and father of the fetus should discuss the issue. They will either agree or disagree on abortion. However, the Court decided that ultimately, the view of only one of the marital partners could prevail. The Court thought since it is the woman who physically bears the child and is the one directly and immediately affected by the pregnancy, the balance...

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