The Burger Court (1969–86)

Court Decisions

What was the Court’s other abortion case decided the same day as Roe v. Wade?

The Court’s other abortion decision decided on January 22, 1973, was Doe v. Bolton. The decision involved a constitutional challenge to Georgia’s abortion statute. Georgia’s statute prohibited abortions unless the pregnancy would endanger the health of the mother, would lead to a damaged fetus, or resulted from a rape. The Court’s decision in Roe established that the Georgia statute was also unconstitutional. But, the Georgia statute also had several procedural requirements for abortions that the Court addressed in a separate opinion. These requirements included limiting abortions to residents of Georgia, requiring abortions to be done in licensed hospitals, and requiring advance approval by an abortion committee of three members of the hospital staff. The Court invalidated these procedural requirements as unduly restricting a woman’s right to obtain an abortion.


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