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)|
|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)|
Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 476 U.S. 747 (1986), was a United States Supreme Court case involving a challenge to Pennsylvania's Abortion Control Act of 1982.
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, the Reagan administration in Thornburgh asked the justices to overrule Roe v. Wade, which Chief Justice Burger had now decided to abandon.
Harry Blackmun's opinion for the Court rejected the Reagan Administration's position, reaffirming Roe.
Sandra Day 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 6-3.
Blackmun's opinion in Thornburgh emphasized women's rights, rather than the rights of physicians, the emphasis of his opinion in Roe: "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
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- Text of Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 476 U.S. 747 (1986) is available from: Cornell CourtListener Findlaw Google Scholar Justia Library of Congress Oyez (oral argument audio)