Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists
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|Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists|
|Argued November 5, 1985
Decided June 11, 1986
|Full case name||Thornburgh, Governor of Pennsylvania, et al. v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, et al.|
|Citations||476 U.S. 747 (more)
106 S. Ct. 2169; 90 L. Ed. 2d 779; 54 U.S.L.W. 4618
|Prior history||737 F.2d 283 (3d Cir. 1984 (affirmed)|
|Provisions of the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act of 1982 that "wholly subordinate constitutional privacy interests and concerns with maternal health to the effort to deter a woman from making a decision that, with her physician, is hers to make" were unconstitutional.|
|Majority||Blackmun, joined by Brennan, Marshall, Powell, Stevens|
|Dissent||White, joined by Rehnquist|
|Dissent||O'Connor, joined by Rehnquist|
|U.S. Const. amend. XIV|
|Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992)|
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists sought an injunction to all enforcement of the Pennsylvania law. Although the law in question was similar to the one in City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, in Thornburgh the Reagan Administration asked the justices to overrule Roe v. Wade, a case which Chief Justice Burger had now decided to abandon.
Justice Blackmun's opinion for the Court rejected the Reagan Administration's position, reaffirming Roe. Justice O'Connor distanced herself from the court in dissent, "disput[ing] not only the wisdom but also the legitimacy of the Court's attempt to discredit and pre-empt state abortion regulation regardless of the interests it serves and the impact it has." The 7-2 majority of Roe had now shrunk to 5-4.
Justice Blackmun's opinion in Thornburgh emphasized women's rights, rather than the rights of physicians, the emphasis of his opinion in Roe. He wrote: "Few decisions are more personal and intimate, more properly private, or more basic to individual dignity and autonomy, than a woman's decision - with the guidance of her physician and within the limits specified in Roe - whether to end her pregnancy. A woman's right to make that choice freely is fundamental."
- List of United States Supreme Court cases, volume 476
- List of United States Supreme Court cases
- Lists of United States Supreme Court cases by volume
- List of United States Supreme Court cases by the Burger Court
- Greenhouse, Linda. Becoming Justice Blackmun. Times Books. 2005. Page 183.
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