THORNBURGH v. AMER. COLL. OF OBST. & GYN.

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
84-495
Petitioner 
Thornburgh
Respondent 
Amer. Coll. of Obst. & Gyn.
Advocates
(on behalf of the appellees)
(on behalf of the appellants)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

In 1982, the state of Pennsylvania enacted legislation that placed a number of restrictions on abortion. The law required the following: "informed consent" of the woman, the dissemination of information concerning the risks of abortion, reporting procedures, the use of certain medical techniques after viability, and the presence of a second physician for post-viability abortions. The initial suit was brought against Richard Thornburgh, the Governor of Pennsylvania.

Question 

Did the Pennsylvania requirements unconstitutionally interfere with the right to privacy?

Conclusion 
Decision: 5 votes for Amer. Coll. of Obst. & Gyn., 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Due Process

In a 5-to-4 decision, the Court held that the Pennsylvania requirements "wholly subordinate[d] constitutional privacy interests and concerns with maternal health" and were attempts to deter women from making their own choices concerning abortion. The Court held that 1) the "informed consent" and printed materials provisions unduly intruded upon the priva cy of patients and physicians; 2) the reporting and viability determination provisions were designed to identify and deter women from having abortions through the threat of harassment; and 3) the post-viability care and second physician provisions unconstitutionally interfered with the health of the mother by increasing delays and medical risks.

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THORNBURGH v. AMER. COLL. OF OBST. & GYN.. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 10 September 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1985/1985_84_495>.
THORNBURGH v. AMER. COLL. OF OBST. & GYN., The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1985/1985_84_495 (last visited September 10, 2014).
"THORNBURGH v. AMER. COLL. OF OBST. & GYN.," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed September 10, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1985/1985_84_495.