Planned Parenthood (FRQ #3)

FRQ #3.

In Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), the Supreme Court ruled on a case that challenged a Pennsylvania law that placed certain requirements on women seeking an abortion. These were: (1) a doctor had to provide information on the procedure to the woman at least 24 hours before the procedure; (2) in most cases, a married woman had to notify her husband of the planned procedure; (3) minors had to obtain informed consent from a parent or guardian or let the court assume a parental role; (4) if a doctor determined the pregnancy was a medical emergency endangering the mother, an abortion could be performed; (5) facilities providing abortions were held to reporting and recordkeeping standards.

A divided Court upheld the essential ruling in Roe v. Wade but  said that the state could not interfere with a woman’s right to an abortion  until the fetus reached viability—the condition that would allow it to survive outside the womb— which could happen as early as 22 weeks. The ruling also set an “undue burden” test for state abortion laws—those that presented an undue burden on the mother seeking an abortion were unconstitutional. The only one of the five provisions explained above that failed that test was the notification of the husband.


(A) Identify the assumed protection that is common to both Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) and Roe v. Wade (1973).

(B) Based on the assumed protection identified in part A, explain why the facts of the case in Planned Parenthood v. Casey led to a modification of the holding in Roe v. Wade.

(C) Explain how the holdings in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Roe v. Wade demonstrate change over time in the law.