Planned Parenthood Assn. v. Ashcroft
462 U.S. 476 (1983)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Planned Parenthood Assn. v. Ashcroft, 462 U.S. 476 (1983)

Planned Parenthood Association of

Kansas City, Missouri, Inc. v. Ashcroft

No. 81-1255

Argued November 30, 1982

Decided June 15, 1983*

462 U.S. 476

Syllabus

Missouri statutes require abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy to be performed in a hospital (§ 188.025); require a pathology report for each abortion performed (§ 188.047); require the presence of a second physician during abortions performed after viability (§ 188.030.3); and require minors to secure parental consent or consent from the Juvenile Court for an abortion (§ 188.028). In an action challenging the constitutionality of these provisions, the District Court invalidated all provisions except § 188.047. The Court of Appeals reversed as to § 188.028 and § 188.047 but affirmed as to § 188.030.3 and § 188.025.

Held: Section 188.025 is unconstitutional, but §§ 188.047, 188.030.3, and 188.028 are constitutional.

664 F.2d 687, affirmed in part, reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded.

JUSTICE POWELL delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I and II, concluding that the second trimester hospitalization requirement of § 188.025 "unreasonably infringes upon a woman's constitutional right to obtain an abortion." Akron v. Akron Center of Reproductive Health, Inc., ante at 462 U. S. 439. 462 U. S. 481-482.

JUSTICE POWELL, joined by THE CHIEF JUSTICE, concluded in Parts III, IV, and V that:

1. The second physician requirement of § 188.030.3 is constitutional as reasonably furthering the State's compelling interest in protecting the lives of viable fetuses. Pp. 462 U. S. 482-486.

2. The pathology report requirement of § 188.047 is constitutional. On its face and in effect, such requirement is reasonably related to generally accepted medical standards, and furthers important health-related state concerns. In light of the substantial benefits that a pathologist's examination can have, the small additional cost of such an examination does not significantly burden a pregnant woman's abortion decision. Pp. 462 U. S. 486-490

Page 462 U. S. 477

3. Section 188.028 is constitutional. A State's interest in protecting immature minors will sustain a requirement of a consent substitute, either parental or judicial. And as interpreted by the Court of Appeals to mean that the Juvenile Court cannot deny a minor's application for consent to an abortion "for good cause" unless the court first finds that the minor was not mature enough to make her own decision, § 188.028 provides a judicial alternative that is consistent with established legal standards. See Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, Inc., ante at 462 U. S. 439-440. Pp. 462 U. S. 490-493.

JUSTICE O'CONNOR, joined by JUSTICE WHITE and JUSTICE REHNQUIST, concluded that:

1. The second physician requirement of § 188.030.3 is constitutional because the State has a compelling interest, extant throughout pregnancy, in protecting and preserving fetal life. 462 U. S. 505.

2. The pathology report requirement of § 188.047 is constitutional because it imposes no undue burden on the limited right to undergo an abortion, and its validity is not contingent on the trimester of pregnancy in which it is imposed. P. 462 U. S. 505.

3. Assuming, arguendo, that the State cannot impose a parental veto on a minor's decision to undergo an abortion, the parental consent provision of § 188.028.2 is constitutional because it imposes no undue burden on any right that a minor may have to undergo an abortion. P. 462 U. S. 505.

POWELL, J announced the judgment of the Court in Part VI and delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I and II, in which BURGER, C.J., and BRENNAN, MARSHALL, BLACKMUN, and STEVENS, JJ., joined, and an opinion with respect to Parts III, IV, and V, in which BURGER, C.J., joined. BLACKMUN, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which BRENNAN, MARSHALL, and STEVENS, JJ., joined, post, p. 462 U. S. 494. O'CONNOR, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment in part and dissenting in part, in which WHITE and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined, post, p. 462 U. S. 505.

Page 462 U. S. 478

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