Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992) Definition

A U.S. Supreme Court decision that reaffirmed Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), protecting a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy before fetal viability. As in Roe, the Court said that a state could continue to regulate both pre- and post-viability abortions. Additionally, states could ban post-viability abortions, but only if the ban contained exceptions protecting the mother's life and health.

Significantly, Casey modified the standard courts were required to use to decide whether pre-viability abortion regulations passed constitutional muster. Roe adopted the strict scrutiny standard, an exceptionally demanding test that regulations rarely survive. In Casey, the Court replaced strict scrutiny with the "undue burden" standard, asking whether an abortion regulation had the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking to terminate a pre-viability pregnancy.

Casey found that certain restrictions on pre-viability abortions—like an informed consent requirement, a 24-hour waiting period, and a parental consent requirement (with a judicial bypass option) when a minor sought an abortion—didn't place undue burdens on a woman's right to choose. But a provision that required a married woman to get the consent of her husband before obtaining an abortion was an undue burden and was declared unconstitutional.

Both Roe and Casey were overruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Org., 597 U.S. ___ (2022).