3 The LawA Connecticut law, passed in 1879, restricted the use of “any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception.”It was mostly not enforced.People still brought the law to court in various cases, but it was always upheld on a technical basis.
4 Estelle Griswold, of Planned Parenthood of Connecticut, and Dr. C Estelle Griswold, of Planned Parenthood of Connecticut, and Dr. C. Lee Buxton, doctor and professor at Yale, opened a birth control clinic in Connecticut to try the courts again.They were arrested, tried, and found guilty.They appealed the conviction, but the ruling was upheld until Griswold took her case to the Supreme Court.The Court ruled 7-2 that a Connecticut law making contraceptives illegal was unconstitutional based on a “right to marital privacy.”
5 Concurring OpinionJustice Douglas: The Bill of Rights does not directly include a right to privacy, but it is alluded to in the “penumbras” (“an area in which something exists to a lesser or uncertain degree”- dictionary.com) of other parts of the constitution.Justice Goldberg: Ninth Amendment – “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”Justice Harlan: Privacy should be protected as stated in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
6 Dissenting OpinionJustice Black: A “right to privacy” does not exist in the Constitution.Did not agree with the other Justice’s interpretations of the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments.Justice Stewart said it was “an uncommonly silly law,” but was still constitutional.
7 ConsequencesStated that the Constitution included a “right to privacy.”Set a precedent for other Supreme Court rulings about sexual privacy.These other rulings, including Roe v. Wade (1973), were made based on the due process argument from Griswold v. Connecticut.Due process means the government will uphold the entirety of a person’s legal rights at all times.
8 What each side says…Planned Parenthood’s take on Griswold v. Connecticut: “While challenges remain in the struggle to provide universal access to birth control, the court's 1965 decision in Griswold granted constitutional protection to the life-enhancing work of Planned Parenthood and other advocates of reproductive freedom in the U.S.”Opponents to the ruling, who argue there is no “right to privacy” in the U.S. Constitution, see Griswold v. Connecticut as a case of “judicial activism”, judges attempting to “legislate from the bench” instead of interpreting the constitution.
9 "We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins." Roe v. Wade1973"We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins."~Justice Blackmun
10 BackgroundTexas law stated that abortions could be performed to save the life of the mother, and only on this condition“Roe,” a single pregnant woman, challenged this position in the district court of northern Texas
11 Texas ResultsAbortion statutes were declared void, as infringing on ninth and fourteenth amendment rightsRoe was granted declaratory relief (clarification of her rights), but not injunctive (court order, executory process), and the case was appealed
12 Supreme CourtHeld that state criminal abortion laws were unconstitutional, particularly in light of the “Due Process Clause” which protects right to privacyPermitted states to define “physician” as someone licensed by the state and prohibit unlicensed individuals from performing abortionsDeclared that the state has an interest in protecting both the mother’s life and “potential” life, and that these interests become more or less compelling at different points in the pregnancyEstablished the three trimester system
13 Three-Trimester System 1st Trimester: the decision to abort may be left up to the woman and her physician2nd Trimester: states can regulate abortion in reasonable ways as it relates to the health of the mother3rd Trimester/viability: states can regulate or prohibit abortion except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger
14 Doe v. Bolton1973Health: “all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age—relevant to the well-being of the patient.”~Justice Blackmun
15 BackgroundGeorgia law prohibited abortion except on medical advice to preserve the life or health of the mother, when the fetus would likely be born defective, or when the pregnancy had resulted from rapeDoe challenged Georgia law after she was denied an abortion at eight weeks because her pregnancy did not fall into any of the above categories
16 Georgia ResultsThe court granted declaratory, not injunctive relief, deciding that the conditions stipulated for procuring an abortion were unconstitutional as violations of privacy and personal libertyHeld that the state had an interest in the protection of “potential independent human existence,” and this interest…“justified regulation through (b) of the ‘manner of performance as well as the quality of the final decision to abort.’”Doe appealed, seeking broader relief
17 Supreme Court Held state criminal abortion laws were unconstitutional the Georgia residence requirement was invalidthe required acquiescence by two copractitioners was also invalid, on grounds that it had no bearing on the patient’s needsthe requirement to perform abortions in a hospital setting was invalid
18 Broader Implications“Health” of the mother, already a vague term, became vaguerBy virtue of this, abortion is legal during all nine months of pregnancy for essentially any reason, as long as it can be declared necessary for a woman’s “health”
19 Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey June 29th, 1992
20 The plaintiffs:5 abortion clinicsa class action of physicians who provide abortions,1 independently represented physicianThe suit: Certain provisions of the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act of 1982 unconstitutional after Roe v. Wade
21 Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act of 1982 Informed ConsentDoctors must provide information about the health risks of abortionsSpousal NotificationParental Notification24 waiting period prior to abortion
22 District Court Ruling: All four provisions declared unconstitutionalThird Circuit Court of Appeals:All provisions upheld except spousal notificationAlito dissents from the invalidation of the spousal notification regulationSupreme Court urged to overturn Roe…
23 Supreme Court Decision Plurality opinion: O’Connor, Kennedy, Souter 1. Roe upheld“grounded in the general sense of liberty”2. Overturns Roe’s trimester formulaViability now recognized as wks (2nd trimester)Viability: when the state’s interests outweigh a woman’s rights and abortion may be banned
24 Supreme Court Opinion, cont… 3. Defined a new standard for abortion regulations: “undue burden”“a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a non-viable fetus”4. Upheld: Informed consentParental notification24-hour waiting period5. Struck: Spousal notification requirement
26 BackgroundIn 1997, Nebraska placed a ban on partial-birth abortion (D&X)Physician Leroy Carhart sued Nebraska Attorney General Don Stenberg, seeking declaratory judgment that the ban violated the “undue burden” standard set in CaseyA federal district court and the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Carhart; Stenberg appealed to the Supreme Court
27 Supreme Court Arguments Noting the lack of a health exception in the ban, Stenberg argued that partial-birth abortions were never necessaryThe Court questioned whether the ban was broad enough to ban other types of abortion, which would violate the “right to privacy” in Roe and Casey
28 Supreme Court RulingIn a narrow 5-4 ruling, Nebraska’s ban was struck downThus, all other state laws banning partial-birth abortion were overturned
29 Supreme Court OpinionMajority: ban violated “undue burden” standard and hence was unconstitutionalDissent: American Medical Association had concluded D&X was very different from other types of abortion and bordered on infanticideScalia pointed out the decision was perfectly logical, following from Casey; he denounced “undue burden” as illegitimate
31 The issueThe Supreme Court will review the July 2005 ruling by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals that overturned the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act on the basis of StenbergThe ban does not have a health exception, but it does allow an abortion if it were necessary to save the mother’s life
32 The question The Court will answer: “Whether, notwithstanding Congress’s determination that a health exception was unnecessary to preserve the health of the mother, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 is invalid because it lacks a health exception or is otherwise unconstitutional on its face.”
33 Health exception?Congress cited in its bill a panel from the American Medical Association, which could not find any circumstance where partial-birth abortion would be necessary to protect the mother's healthInstead, it said partial-birth abortions can pose health risks, including cervical damage, trauma to the uterus, and hemorrhaging
34 The Court at presentThe Court will hear the case during its next term, beginning in October of this yearDecision may come next December or JanuaryFive current justices have voted in favor of Roe: Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter, Stevens, and KennedyScalia and Thomas have voted to overturn Roe, and Roberts and Alito have not voted on it yet