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Colautti v. Franklin - Significance, A Specific Definition Of Viability, An Intrusion Upon The Police Powers Of The States

court appellant abortion oxford


Aldo Colautti


John Franklin, M.D.

Appellant's Claim

That a Pennsylvania statute dealing with abortion and the viability of fetuses was not unconstitutionally vague.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

Carol Los Mansmann

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

Roland Morris

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun (writing for the Court), William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., John Paul Stevens, Potter Stewart

Justices Dissenting

Warren E. Burger, William H. Rehnquist, Byron R. White


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

9 January 1979


Affirmed the judgment of the district court that the viability-determination requirement of the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act was void due to vagueness. The law's standard-of-care provision was also found to be impermissibly vague.

Related Cases

  • Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).
  • Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973).
  • Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri v. Danforth, 428 U.S. 52 (1976).
  • Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490 (1989).

Further Readings

  • Gans Epner, Janet E., Harry S. Jonas, and Daniel L. Seckinger. "Late-Term Abortion." Journal of the American Medical Association, August 26, 1998, p. 724.
  • Hall, Kermit L., ed. The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Oxford Press, 1992.
Collin v. Smith - Significance, Nazis Must Be Allowed To March, Further Readings [next] [back] Coker v. Georgia - Significance, On Appeal, The Verdict, Nothing Left To Lose, Ginsburg Revisits Her Brief

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