Planned Parenthood v. Danforth

Two Missouri-licensed physicians, one of whom performs abortions at hospitals and the other of whom supervises abortions at Planned Parenthood, a not-for-profit corporation, brought suit, along with that organization, for injunctive and declaratory relief challenging the constitutionality of the Missouri abortion statute. The provisions under attack are: § 2(2), defining “viability” as

“that stage of fetal development when the life of the unborn child may be continued indefinitely outside the womb by natural or artificial life supportive systems;”

§ 3(2), requiring that, before submitting to an abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, a woman must consent in writing to the procedure and certify that “her consent is informed and freely given, and is not the result of coercion”; § 3(3), requiring, for the same period, the written consent of the spouse of a woman seeking an abortion unless a licensed physician certifies that the abortion is necessary to preserve the mother’s life; § 3(4), requiring, for the same period, and with the same proviso, the written consent of a parent or person in loco parentis to the abortion of an unmarried woman under age 18; § 6(1), requiring the physician to exercise professional care to preserve the fetus’ life and health, failing which he is deemed guilty of manslaughter and is liable in an action for damages; § 7, declaring an infant who survives an attempted abortion not performed to save the mother’s life or health an abandoned ward of the State, and depriving the mother and a consenting father of parental rights; § 9, prohibiting, after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the abortion procedure of saline amniocentesis as “deleterious to maternal health”; and §§ 10 and 11, prescribing reporting and recordkeeping