Thursday, November 14, 2013

Planned Parenthood v. Casey case brief

Planned Parenthood v. Casey case brief summary
505 U.S. 833 (1992)

Petitioners, abortion clinics and physician, brought suit against respondents, the governor and others, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from five provisions of the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act of 1982, 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 3203-3220 (1990). The district court held that the provisions were unconstitutional. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in pArticle The Court granted certiorari.


  • The court of appeals reversed in part, holding that only the husband notification provision, 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3209, was unconstitutional. 
  • The Court granted certiorari. The Court applied the doctrine of stare decisis and reaffirmed the essential holdings in Roe v. Wade because that decision was still workable and its factual underpinnings had not changed. 
  • In a joint opinion, three Justices rejected Roe's trimester framework and adopted an undue burden test for determining whether State regulations had the purpose or effect of placing substantial obstacles in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before viability. 
  • The Court agreed that§ 3209 imposed a substantial obstacle in a large fraction of cases and was invalid. The Court also affirmed the holding the court of appeals that 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3202, the medical emergency provision, did not impose an undue burden on a woman's abortion right. 
  • A plurality of the Court determined that 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3214(a)(12) was also invalid because it required a married woman to provide a reason for her failure to provide notice to her husband.

The Court substantially affirmed the holding of the court of appeals, although it also found that the reporting provision related to husband notification was invalid, and remanded the case for further proceedings.

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