The Public Policy
Casey v. Planned Parenthood

By Michael G. Smith{1}

Chapter 1


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Thousands of time each day in the U.S., a woman becomes pregnant and later presents herself to an abortionist for an induced abortion. Some people say abortion is a tragedy, and some people say abortion is the ultimate American freedom. Nonetheless, abortion is legal in the U.S. as result of U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence. The Courtís public policy supporting the jurisprudence on abortion leaves much to be desired.

The U.S. Supreme Court first validated a womanís privacy right in abortion in Roe v. Wade.{2} In the most recent U.S. Supreme Court case to review the constitutionality of legal abortion, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey,{3} the Court said in what is probably the key passage to the entire opinion that continued legal abortion was necessitated by the reliance of society on legal abortion:

"The Roe rule's limitation on state power could not be repudiated without serious inequity to people who, for two decades of economic and social developments, have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail. The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives."{4}

There are four problems with this central argument for legal abortion: The Court has made an argument that undermines the ultimate interests of feminism, the Court allows society to rely on abortion, which is murder, the Court is supporting the existence of the sexual revolution, and the Court is assisting in the perpetuation of violence in society.


{1}Michael G. Smith is team leader of an object-oriented internet development project at Banc One Services Corporation in Columbus, OH. He has a Law degree and a bachelorís degree in Computer Science. He can be contacted at The author wishes to express his gratitude and indebtedness to the thoughtful and attentive critical analysis and helpful suggestions of Prof. Douglas Wells of Capital University Law School in Columbus, OH., without which this paper would not have been possible. Michael G. Smith is also author of a paper on copyright infringement of object-oriented software at

{2}410 U.S. 113, 93 S.Ct. 705 (1973).

{3}505 U.S. 833, 112 S.Ct. 2791 (1992).

{4}Id. at 856.

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