US Reproductive Rights: U.S. Supreme Court Cases

Below are some of the landmark cases (Supreme Court) on reproductive rights. Please click on the case citation to go to the full text of the decision.

Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925) – Parents has a constitutional right to send children to a private school.

Skinner v. Oklahoma (1942) – Sterilization cannot be a penalty for a crime.

Prince v. Massachusetts (1944) – State can determine what is in the best interest of the child.

Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) – Married couples have a constitutional right to use contraceptives.

Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972) – Unmarried individuals have contraceptive rights similar to married couples and can engage in consensual sexual intercourse without having to procreate.

Roe v. Wade (1973) – A woman can terminate the pregnancy up to 12 weeks using abortion but post 12 weeks; the state has a greater interest in regulating the right to privacy.

Carey v. Population Services International (1977) – Makers of contraceptives can distribute and sell to teens. Before this judgment, only licensed pharmacists and doctors could distribute contraceptives to minors.

Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) – States can regulate other issues of abortion including waiting period requirements and requiring the abortion provider to explain the risks associated with the procedure. The court upheld the Roe v. Wade ruling.

Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood (2006) – Refused to invalidate parental notification law.

Gonzales v. Carhard (2007) – Federal ban on “partial-birth” abortions upheld.

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