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Doe v. Bolton - Significance, Health Includes Physical, Emotional, And Psychological Well-being, The Issue Should Be Left To The People

court law appellant william


Mary Doe


Arthur K. Bolton, Attorney General of Georgia

Appellant's Claim

That a Georgia abortion law was unconstitutional because it invaded the rights of privacy and liberty, denied equal protection and procedural due process, and was vague.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

Margie Pitts Hames

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

Dorothy T. Beasley

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun (writing for the Court), William J. Brennan, Jr., Warren E. Burger, William O. Douglas, Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Potter Stewart

Justices Dissenting

William H. Rehnquist, Byron R. White


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

22 January 1973


Modified and affirmed the district court's ruling and decided that the three procedural conditions of the law violated the Fourteenth Amendment and that the residence requirement violated the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Constitution.

Related Cases

  • United States v. Vuitch, 402 U.S. 62 (1971).
  • Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).
  • Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490 (1989).
  • Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992).

Further Readings

  • Abortion Law Homepage. http://member.aol.com/abtrng/
  • Hall, Kermit L., ed. The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Oxford Press, 1992.
  • Levy, Leonard W., ed. Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. Vol. 4. New York: Macmillan, 1986.
Doe v. McMillan - Significance, The Lower Court Rulings, The Supreme Court Ruling, Legislative Acts Immune From Suit [next] [back] Delaware v. Prouse - Significance, Impact, Drunk Driving And Drug Use, Further Readings

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about 9 years ago

"Plus, before a mother even begins to suspect that she might be pregnant (before she even misses her period), her child has a heartbeat."

No, the heartbeat can first be heard with an ultra sound at 5 weeks. This would be AFTER a woman misses her period. Maybe if you did some research on things of that nature, you wouldn't sound like such an ignorant wanker.

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almost 8 years ago

If the matter of protecting the right to abortion is health of the mother, then one simply must look at the physical and pyschological harms caused by abortion.

If the matter of protecting the "right to choose" stems from upholding privacy rights, then one need look at the reality of seeing nothing private about a woman doing harm to herself, to the friends and family who watch her become less lively and anti-mothering,and to the society that loses yet another nurturing person.

If we believe our actions are only our won, that they do not have any impact on the world we all share, than we lie to ourselves and our neighbors as we fail to see the impact of our God given creative gift to speak life or death with our actions and our words.

If this matter of privacy trys to exclude what the eyes of Heaven can see, foolishly believing we can hide from our God, then we fool ourselves as we whistle to ourselves walking through the graveyard of this culture of death.

There is nothing healthy or private about SIN of word or deed.

Go to the March and LOVINGLY defend the born and unborn.

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over 8 years ago

who defines one who is living? the means of having a social securtiy number? is that really what defines a livng life? how about havin a job? isn't there life in just a tiny seed of plant? it holds dna and a genitic code so the same is that of a fetus and that dna has the potential to love, grow, think, create, and maybe become the next john f kennedy, or martin luther king jr. besides there is still nerve endings in a fetus think about that...

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over 8 years ago

NO, YOUR DUMB DAVE PERRY !! Abortion IS killing. It's not fair for babies not to have a chance at life. How would you people like to have been aborted by your mothers. You guys just probably think abortion is okay because your alive. I think women who have abortions should never be able to have children. If they didn't want the first one then they must not want at all.

instead of abortion haven't they thought about adoption ?? >:O

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over 8 years ago

Abortion is murder. If you can't defend the life of an human being, regardless of its stage of development, then you have no respect for your own existance. If you were a Fetus would you be pro-choice?

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almost 9 years ago

A fetus develops a heart beat at 18 days (when the mother is only four days late for her first menstrual period), and by 21 days it is pumping, through a closed circulatory system, blood whose type is different from that of the mother. This is according to J.M. Tanner, G. R. Taylor, and the Editors of Time-Life Books, Growth, New York: Life Science Library, 1965, p.

@Dave Perry- During the days of the Federal Constitution framers, there was a severe penalty, including death, for all involved in an attempt to abort, or abort, a child if it could be proved, before "quickening" or after. Look at Blackstone's "Commentaries on the Laws of England."

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about 9 years ago

I can't believe that anyone could flat out murder an innocent, unborn child. Women cannot, by law, choose to steal, do drugs, sell their bodies, etc., so why should they be allowed to kill? Plus, before a mother even begins to suspect that she might be pregnant (before she even misses her period), her child has a heartbeat. Maybe if you didi some research on things of that nature, and saw the videos of how they kill these poor babies you'd feel differently.

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over 9 years ago

just because certain people do not like the idea of an abortion it does not mean that they should impose their believes on other people.

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over 9 years ago

You’re dumb a fetus is guaranteed no rights it is neither a person(a s established by the belief of the framers) nor a citizen( a person born or naturalized in the US) murder isn’t a right but the fetus has no right to life

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over 9 years ago

i think abortion is a total way of murder and if you think murder is a constitutional right, you need to get ur brain checked