Webster v. Reproductive Health Services

Webster v. Reproductive Health Services

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  • Background of the Case In 1986, the state of Missouri enacted legislation that placed a number of restrictions on abortions. The statute's preamble indicated that "[t]he life of each human being begins at conception," and the law codified the following restrictions: public employees and public facilities were not to be used in performing or assisting abortions unnecessary to save the mother's life; encouragement and counseling to have abortions was prohibited; and physicians were to perform viability tests upon women in their twentieth (or more) week of pregnancy. Lower courts struck down the restrictions.
  • Women should be allowed to have abortions.  The restrictions in Missouri need to be removed to widen the range of abortions. 
  • Appellant  William Webster
  • Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989)
  • Appellee Reproductive Health Services
  • Abortion
  • Law A child's rights began at federalization and these unborn children are protected when it comes to life, heath and well-being. 
  • The abortion restrictions in Missouri make it hard to get an abortion.
  • Significance This case is important because it gives unborn children the right of life.  Unborn children have the same right as other people and it starts at conception.  These unborn children have the right to life.
  • Supreme Court's Conclusion 1. None of the challenged provisions of the Missouri legislation were unconstitutional. 2. The preamble had not been applied in a concrete manner for the purpose of restricting abortions. 3.  The Due Process clause didn't require states to enter in abortion problems. 4.  The court upheld testing requirements, to see if the State's interests in protecting life could come to action. 
  • Question Did the Missouri restrictions unconstitutionally infringe upon the right to privacy or the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?
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