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Maher v. Roe

Not A Protected Class

First, the Court held that the women could not refer to their equal rights as poor people, because "[f]inancial need alone does not identify a . . . class for purposes of equal protection analysis." In other words, for people to argue that they are being discriminated against, they have to show that they belong to a group, and that their discrimination results from their membership in that group. But, said the Court, being poor does not make you a member of a group that is being discriminated against, at least not for the purposes of the law. Second, the Court held that the Connecticut regulation did not violate the women's right to privacy, or the right to choose an abortion as guaranteed by Roe v. Wade. A poor woman was perfectly free to have an abortion. The state was simply not going to help her pay for it.

The Court also ruled that states had the right to establish policies that favored childbirth over abortion. Connecticut's Medicaid regulations had the right to require different rules for abortion than for other medical procedures, because "[other] procedures do not involve the termination of a potential human life."

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980Maher v. Roe - Significance, Doctor's Certification Needed, Not A Protected Class, A Distressing Insensitivity, Legal Consequences Of Maher V. Roe