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Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey

PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA V. CASEY

PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA V. CASEY, 505 U.S 833 (1992), is best known for what it did not do—overrule Roe v. Wade (1973). By 1992 five associate justices had been appointed to the Supreme Court by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, both of whom pledged to select judges committed to overturning Roe, which had legalized abortion. Reagan had named William Rehnquist, one of the original dissenters in roe as chief justice in 1986. Webster v. Reproductive Health Services

(1989) and Rust v. Sullivan (1991) had upheld laws limiting access to abortion and seemed indicators of doctrinal shifts. The Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act at issue in Casey did not ban abortion, but the Court upheld all of the restrictions on abortion imposed by Pennsylvania except mandatory notification of the husband. These included a twenty-four-hour waiting period, informed consent of one parent for pregnant teenagers, reporting requirements, and a state-scripted warning against the medical procedure.


As a result of Casey, restrictions on abortion would no longer be judged by a strict-scrutiny standard requiring a "compelling state interest," as did restrictions on other constitutional rights. Instead, an "undue burden" standard was substituted, allowing states to place restrictions on abortion unless they posed "substantial obstacles" to the woman's right of privacy recognized in Roe. Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and David Souter, all appointed by either Reagan or Bush, concurred that "the reservations any of us may have in reaffirming the central holding of Roe are out-weighed by the expectation of individual liberty." Hence, Casey represented a victory for centrist judicial politics.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Craig, Barbara Hinkson, and David M. O'Brien. Abortion and American Politics. Chatham, N.J.: Chatham House, 1993.

Judith A.Baer/a. r.

See alsoAbortion ; Pro-Choice Movement ; Pro-Life Movement ; Rust v. Sullivan ; Webster v. Reproductive Health Services .

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