United States v. Vuitch
402 U.S. 62 (1971)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Vuitch, 402 U.S. 62 (1971)

United States v. Vuitch

No. 84

Argued January 12, 1971

Decided April 21, 1971

402 U.S. 62

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Appellee physician's indictments for producing and attempting to produce abortions in violation of D.C.Code § 22-201 was dismissed by the District Court on the ground of unconstitutional vagueness. That court held that the word "health" was overly vague, and, relying on Williams v. United States, 78 U.S.App.D.C. 147, 138 F.2d 81, held that, once an abortion is proved, the burden is on the doctor to persuade the jury that it was necessary to preserve the mother's life or health. The Government appealed to this Court under the Criminal Appeals Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3731.

Held:

1. Although the abortion statute applies only to the District of Columbia, this Court has jurisdiction of the appeal under § 3731, which provides for direct appeals from district court judgments

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