On 30 June 1980, in a five to four decision, the US Supreme Court ruled in the Case Harris v. McRae that the Hyde Amendment of 1976 did not violate the US Constitution. The Hyde Amendment banned the use of federal funding to pay for any abortion services. The US Supreme Court's decision in Harris v. McRae overturned the decision of McRae v. Califano (1980), in which the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York had ruled that the funding restrictions established by the Hyde Amendment violated the US Constitution. After the US Supreme Court's ruling in Harris v. McRae, the Hyde Amendment continued to prohibit federal Medicaid funding for abortion services, limiting the funds available for low-income women seeking abortions.
In the 1989 case Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, the US Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a Missouri law regulating abortion care. The Missouri law prohibited the use of public facilities, employees, or funds to provide abortion counseling or services. The law also placed restrictions on physicians who provided abortions. A group of physicians affected by the law challenged the constitutionality of certain sections of it. The US federal district court that first heard the case ruled many of the challenged sections of the law unconstitutional. The Missouri attorney general then appealed the case to an US federal appeals court and eventually to the US Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. In a five to four decision, the US Supreme Court overturned the decisions of the lower federal courts, ruling that it was constitutional to prohibit public funds, facilities, and employees from providing abortion care. In doing so, the Supreme Court upheld a state law that limited women’s access to abortions and established a precedent that states could apply restrictions to abortion care.
In the 1983 case City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health the US Supreme Court ruled that certain requirements of the city of Akron’s “Regulation on Abortion” ordinance violated women’s rights to abortions. Despite the legalization of abortion in the 1973, with the US Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, individual states passed legislation regulating certain aspects of abortion. The city of Akron, Ohio, passed legislation in 1978 that regulated when and where abortions could be conducted, the consent process leading up to abortions, and the disposal of fetal remains after abortions. In a six to three ruling, the Court argued provisions of the city of Akron’s ordinance were unconstitutional. The Court’s opinion in City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health reaffirmed the ruling in Roe v. Wade that states could not unduly restrict women’s access to abortions.
In the 1990 case Hodgson v. Minnesota, the US Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., upheld Minnesota statute 144.343, which required physicians to notify both biological parents of minors seeking abortions forty-eight hours prior to each procedure. The US Supreme Court determined that a state could legally require physicians to notify both parents of minors prior to performing abortions as long as they allowed for a judicial bypass procedure, in which courts could grant exceptions. The Supreme Court’s decision in Hodgson v. Minnesota allowed for the enforcement of Minnesota statute 144.343, which changed minors’ abilities to access abortions in Minnesota by requiring parental notification by a physician forty-eight hours prior to each abortion.
In the 1973 court case Doe v. Bolton, the US Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., ruled that a Georgia law regulating abortion was unconstitutional. The Georgia abortion law required women seeking abortions to get approval for the procedure from their personal physician, two consulting physicians, and from a committee at the admitting hospital. Furthermore, under the statutes, only women who had been raped, whose lives were in danger from the pregnancy, or who were carrying fetuses likely to be seriously, permanently malformed were permitted to receive abortions. The US Supreme Court ruled that the Georgia requirements violated the right to privacy implicit in the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. Decided on the same day as the abortion case Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton expanded women’s access to abortion by striking down laws that restricted the reasons for which women could receive abortions.
In the 2014 case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the US Supreme Court ruled that the contraceptive mandate promulgated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act violated privately held, for-profit corporations’ right to religious freedom. The contraception mandate, issued in 2012 by the US Department of Health and Human Services, required that employer-provided health insurance plans offer their beneficiaries certain contraceptive methods free of charge. In a five to four decision, the US Supreme Court maintained that the mandate, in cases of privately held, for-profit organizations like Hobby Lobby Inc., violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. Although the Court did not decide on the constitutionality of the mandate, their ruling enabled privately held, for-profit corporations that objected to the contraceptive mandate on religious grounds to be exempt from it.
In the 2016 case Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, the US Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional the Texas requirements that abortion providers have admitting privileges at local hospitals and that abortion facilities meet ambulatory surgical center standards. Whole Woman’s Health represented abortion care providers in Texas and brought the case against the commissioner for the Texas Department of State Health Services, John Hellerstedt. In a five to three decision, the US Supreme Court ruled that the requirements of the challenged law, Texas House Bill 2, had forced the majority of abortion care facilities to close. With fewer available facilities, women faced undue burdens of travel time and cost when seeking abortions, restricting their access abortion care. In previous US Supreme Court cases Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), the Court ruled that placing undue burdens on women seeking abortion care was unconstitutional. Upholding those decisions in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, the US Supreme Court struck down Texas House Bill 2 and protected women’s access to abortion care.
On 1 July 1976, the US Supreme Court decided in the case Planned Parenthood v. Danforth that provisions of a Missouri law regulating abortion care were unconstitutional. That law, House Bill 1211, restricted abortion care by requiring written consent for each abortion procedure from the pregnant woman as written consent of the woman’s husband if she was married, or the written consent of her parents if she was unmarried and younger than eighteen. House Bill 1211 also required that physicians make efforts to preserve the lives of aborted fetuses. Following the passage of House Bill 1211 in 1974, two physicians and Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri challenged the law. Following the decisions by several lower courts, the US Supreme Court ruled on the case. The US Supreme Court struck down parts of a law that violated the US Constitution and the prior court case Roe v. Wade, and in doing so, they expanded access to abortion care in the US.