A woman's interest in having an abortion is a form of liberty protected by the Due Process Clause, but States may regulate abortion procedures in ways rationally related to a legitimate state interest. Since there is no evidence on this record that requiring a doctor to give the information as provided by the statute would amount in practical terms to a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion, we conclude that it is not an undue burden. They begin by noting that only about 20 percent of the women who obtain abortions are married. If the Court's legitimacy should be undermined, then, so would the country be in its very ability to see itself through its constitutional ideals. Roe, , 603, 97 S. An extra price will be paid by those who themselves disapprove of the decision's results when viewed outside of constitutional terms, but who nevertheless struggle to accept it, because they respect the rule of law.
I am sure it is not. Under the guise of the Constitution, this Court will still impart its own preferences on the States in the form of a complex abortion code. In deciding whether to grant such consent, a pregnant woman's parent or guardian shall consider only their child's or ward's best interests. It is the dimension present whenever the Court's interpretation of the Constitution calls the contending sides of a national controversy to end their national division by accepting a common mandate rooted in the Constitution. A woman seeking abortion had to give her informed consent prior to the procedure.
A Utah statute of that sort enacted in 1896 was involved in our decision in Holden v. Not all of the cases decided under that formulation can be reconciled with the holding in Roe itself that the State has legitimate interests in the health of the woman and in protecting the potential life within her. Virginia, 1967 , and Eisenstadt v. If the pregnant woman's parents are divorced, consent of the parent having custody shall be sufficient. Moreover, the physician's First Amendment rights not to speak are implicated only as part of the practice of medicine, which is licensed and regulated by the State. Nor can it be doubted that most women considering an abortion would deem the impact on the fetus relevant, if not dispositive, to the decision.
To the extent that the opinions of the Court or of individual Justices use the undue burden standard in a manner that is inconsistent with this analysis, we set out what in our view should be the controlling standard. The fact that a law which serves a valid purpose, one not designed to strike at the right itself, has the incidental effect of making it more difficult or more expensive to procure an abortion cannot be enough to invalidate it. Marriage is mentioned nowhere in the Bill of Rights and interracial marriage was illegal in most States in the 19th century, but the Court was no doubt correct in finding it to be an aspect of liberty protected against state interference by the substantive component of the Due Process Clause in Loving v. Perhaps married women should notify their husbands before using contraceptives or before undergoing any type of surgery that may have complications affecting the husband's interest in his wife's reproductive organs. Another provision of the Act required that, with some exceptions, a married woman seeking an abortion must sign a statement indicating that she has notified her husband of her intended abortion.
But of course this Court has never accepted that view. It is a coherent succession. While this was a missed opportunity to overturn Roe v. Inasmuch as it is the woman who physically bears the child and who is the more directly and immediately affected by the pregnancy, as between the two, the balance weighs in her favor. Significantly, none of the five opinions took the position that the record was inadequate in a way that would counsel leaving those judgments to the District Court in the first instance.
If the court determines that the performance of an abortion would be in the best interests of the woman, it shall authorize a physician to perform the abortion. While this was a missed opportunity to overturn Roe v. Roe analyzed abortion regulation under a rigid trimester framework, a framework which has guided this Court's decisionmaking for 19 years. Where, in the performance of its judicial duties, the Court decides a case in such a way as to resolve the sort of intensely divisive controversy reflected in Roe and those rare, comparable cases, its decision has a dimension that the resolution of the normal case does not carry. The trimester framework no doubt was erected to ensure that the woman's right to choose not become so subordinate to the State's interest in promoting fetal life that her choice exists in theory but not in fact. We would adopt the approach of the plurality in Webster v.
We further conclude that these reporting requirements rationally further the State's legitimate interests in advancing the state of medical knowledge concerning maternal health and prenatal life, in gathering statistical information with respect to patients, and in ensuring compliance with other provisions of the Act. All that remained between the promise of Roe and the darkness of the plurality was a single, flickering flame. Requiring that the woman be informed of the availability of information relating to the consequences to the fetus does not interfere with a constitutional right of privacy between a pregnant woman and her physician, since the doctor-patient relation is derivative of the woman's position, and does not underlie or override the abortion right. It is an undue burden, and therefore invalid. The best that can be said is that through the course of this Court's decisions it has represented the balance which our Nation, built upon postulates of respect for the liberty of the individual, has struck between that liberty and the demands of organized society. Men and women of good conscience can disagree, and we suppose some always shall disagree, about the profound moral and spiritual implications of terminating a pregnancy, even in its earliest stage.
Yet I remain steadfast in my belief that the right to reproductive choice is entitled to the full protection afforded by this Court before Webster. Sandra Day O'Connor: These cases come to us on certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. California, , 373 1927 Brandeis, J. California, 1952 ; Jacobson v. Based on evidence in the record, the District Court concluded that, in order to fulfill the informed-consent requirement, generally accepted medical principles would require an in-person visit by the parent to the facility. Akron Center for Reproductive Health 1983 , Thornburgh v. In all events, the identity of each woman who has had an abortion remains confidential.