MAHER v. ROE

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
75-1440
Appellee 
Roe
Appellant 
Maher
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the appellees)
(Argued the cause for the appellant)
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Term:
Facts of the Case 

In the wake of Roe v. Wade, the Connecticut Welfare Department issued regulations limiting state Medicaid benefits for first-trimester abortions to those that were "medically necessary." An indigent woman ("Susan Roe") challenged the regulations and sued Edward Maher, the Commissioner of Social Services in Connecticut.

Question 

Did the Connecticut law violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?

Conclusion 
Decision: 6 votes for Maher, 3 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Equal Protection

In a 6-to-3 decision, the Court held that the Connecticut law placed no obstacles in the pregnant woman's path to an abortion, and that it did not "impinge upon the fundamental right recognized in Roe." The Court noted that there was a distinction between direct state interference with a protected activity and "state encouragement of alternative activity consonant with legislative policy." Holding that financial need alone did not identify a suspect class under the Equal Protection Clause, the Court found that the law was "rationally related" to a legitimate state interest and survived scrutiny under the Fourteenth Amendment.

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MAHER v. ROE. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 21 October 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1976/1976_75_1440>.
MAHER v. ROE, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1976/1976_75_1440 (last visited October 21, 2014).
"MAHER v. ROE," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed October 21, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1976/1976_75_1440.