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.
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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.
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.
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.
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