Planned Parenthood V. Wade Case Study

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Sandra Day O’Connor is probably best known for being the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice. She served on the Court as an associate justice from 1981 until her retirement in 2006. After graduating third in her class from Stanford Law School, she stayed in California where she had a difficult time finding a job because of the bias against female attorneys. After working for the San Mateo county attorney for free, she was hired as deputy county attorney. In 1954, O’Connor moved to Germany and worked as a civilian attorney for the U.S. Army. Three years later, O’Connor and her husband moved to Arizona, where she opened her own law practice. Soon after, she was hired as Assistant Attorney General. In 1969, she began her political career when …show more content…
Casey (1992). The decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) reaffirmed Roe v. Wade (1973). The issue addressed was, if any state can force a woman seeking an abortion to wait 24 hours, if married, require consent from her husband, and, if she’s a minor, have parental consent (Oyez). The case was a 5-4 decision in favor of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania. This decision reaffirmed Roe v. Wade. The Court upheld the 24-hour waiting period and the parental consent regulations but invalidated the “spousal consent” regulation because abortion is an issue of “liberty” not “privacy” which meant the case could be analyzed with substantive due process (Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School). The Court used Roe v. Wade as precedent and referred to it several times. For example, the Supreme Court referenced the issue of “viability” and claimed that, in the time since the 1973 decision of Roe v Wade, the time of “viability” is now earlier in the pregnancy. Before a fetus is “viable” the government has an interest in both the mother’s health and the health and existence of the potential baby. But, once a fetus is “viable” government interests change, so abortions can be regulated. Regarding “viability”, the Court invalidated the structure of Roe v. Wade that focuses so much on “trimesters” (Legal Information Institute, …show more content…
Casey (1992) definitely coincides with her typical voting pattern. O’Connor is in favor of more individual rights and is pro-choice and her court voting record elucidates that fact. The decision to uphold Roe v. Wade, thus keeping abortions legally accessible, and only under certain circumstances able to be regulated by the state, is an activist decision because the Supreme Court is supporting all women, and her right to choose. Furthermore, the decision changed the way abortions are regulated and viewed. A new court doctrine was introduced, the doctrine of “undue burden”, which determines whether or not a state can restrict abortions depending on the “viability” of a fetus (Benshoof, National Library of

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