Last modified on December 1, 2021, at 03:22

Planned Parenthood v. Casey

In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), a divided U.S. Supreme Court upheld Roe v. Wade with modifications, holding that States may regulate abortion only so long as the regulation does not place "undue burden on a woman's constitutional right to decide to terminate a pregnancy."[1]

The Pennsylvania law that required a woman to obtain her husband's consent before having an abortion was declared invalid under the Fourteenth Amendment because its creation of “undue burden” on married women who sought an abortion. However, the requirements for parental consent (by one parent with a judicial bypass provision), informed consent, and 24-hour waiting period were constitutionally valid and were kept in place.

Four conservative Justices dissented, and Justice Anthony Kennedy (along with Justice Sandra Day O'Connor) surprised conservatives by joining the liberal wing of the Court to give them a majority in this decision with respect to the "undue burden" standard and the invalidation of requirement of obtaining a husband's consent. Both Justices Kennedy and O'Connor had been appointed by President Ronald Reagan.

Justice Blackmun, the author of Roe v. Wade, dissented in part because he thought that a standard "strict scrutiny" of abortion laws should be adopted, and that all the challenged provisions of the Pennsylvania statute should have been invalidated, including even a reporting requirement.


These often-criticized quotations of self-importance are in the plurality decision:

Liberty finds no refuge in a jurisprudence of doubt.
At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.

See also