Cases

Editor's Note: Please visit our home page for a full listing of abortion facts.

These court cases are some of the most important concerning the issue of abortion. They have decided the legality of abortion and also the specific rules which surround this procedure. Students of the abortion issue should know at least the significance of each decision. 

These cases present the full text of the decision. They are lengthy documents, so please be patient when loading them. If you are trying to understand the essence of the case, look in the syllabus or index and then in the last section of the court's opinion. 

Please feel free to print these and distribute them in any way you wish. The information is property of the government.

Roe v. Wade, 1972

This case was the most significant in the history of abortion in America. It provided that abortions should be legal if there was a convincing reason to have one (such as was stated in Jane Roe's case). This decision was immediately updated in Doe v. Bolton.

Click here to view Roe v. Wade, 1972

Roe v. Wade Syllabus

Court's Opinion, Justice Blackmun Part 1

Court's Opinion, Justice Blackmun Part 2

Court's Opinion, Justice Blackmun Part 3

Court's Opinion, Justice Blackmun Part 4

Chief Justice Burger's concurring opinion

Justice Stewart's concurring opinion

Justice Douglas' concurring opinion

Justices White's dissenting opinion

Justice Rehnquist's dissenting opinion

Griswald v. Connecticut, 1965

This case was to be a stepping stone to Roe v. Wade. The case provided that it was unconstitutional to outlaw contraceptives of any sort.

Click here to view Griswald v. Connecticut, 1965

Court's Opinion, Justice Douglas

Justice White's concurring opinion

Justice Harlan's concurring opinion

Justice Goldberg's concurring opinion

Justice Black's dissenting opinion

Justice Stewart's dissenting opinion

Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 1992

This case stemmed from laws that required abortion providers to follow certain rules as parental consent and notification of the babies age. The court decision provides the rules which abortion providers must work through in order to comply with the law. Many of the rules are in the appendix.

Click here to view Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 1992

O'Conner, Kennedy and Souter's Syllabus

O'Conner, Kennedy and Souter's Court Opinion 1

O'Conner, Kennedy and Souter's Court Opinion 2

O'Conner, Kennedy and Souter's Court Opinion 3

O'Conner, Kennedy and Souter's Court Opinion 4

O'Conner, Kennedy and Souter's Court Appendix

Rehnquist's dissenting opinion 1

Rehnquist's dissenting opinion 2

Stevens, concurring in part, dissenting in part

Scalia, concurring in part , dissenting in part

Blackmun, concurring in part, dissenting in part