BEAL v. DOE

Print this Page
Case Basics
Docket No. 
75-554
Petitioner 
Beal
Respondent 
Doe
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the respondents)
(Argued the cause for the petitioners)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

In the wake of the Court's decision in Roe v. Wade, abortion opponents turned to state and local legislators in an effort to curb the practice of abortion. This case involved a Pennsylvania law which restricted Medicaid-funded abortions only to indigent women in situations in which a doctor determined the procedure was medically necessary.

Question 

Did Title XIX of the Social Security Act require states that participate in the Medicaid program to fund the cost of nontherapeutic abortions?

Conclusion 
Decision: 6 votes for Beal, 3 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Medicaid--provisions of the Social Security Act

No. The Court held that states could exclude nontherapeutic abortions from coverage under their Medicaid programs. Justice Powell argued that in its provisions, Title XIX of the Social Security Act made no specific reference to abortion nor did it require states to fund every medical procedure which could possibly fall under its umbrella. Powell made clear however that the federal statute did give states the option to fund therapeutic abortions if they chose to do so.

Cite this Page
BEAL v. DOE. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 22 October 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1976/1976_75_554>.
BEAL v. DOE, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1976/1976_75_554 (last visited October 22, 2014).
"BEAL v. DOE," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed October 22, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1976/1976_75_554.