Webster v. Reproductive Health Services Oral Arguments
Attorneys made oral arguments in the 1989 case of Webster v. Reproductive Health Services. Then Missouri Attorney General William Webster… read more
Attorneys made oral arguments in the 1989 case of Webster v. Reproductive Health Services. Then Missouri Attorney General William Webster argued the case for the respondents. Frank Susman argued the case for the petitioners. Charles Fried argued the cause for the United States as amicus curiae.
In 1986, the state of Missouri enacted legislation that placed a number of restrictions on abortions. The statute’s preamble indicated that “the 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.
The question being argued was if the Missouri restrictions unconstitutionally infringe upon the right to privacy or the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
This program contains audio of the court with still images of participants as they spoke. close
*The transcript for this program was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
People in this video
- Harry A. Blackmun Associate Justice U.S. Supreme Court
- William J. Brennan Jr. Associate Justice U.S. Supreme Court
- Charles Fried Solicitor General Department of Justice
- Anthony M. Kennedy Associate Justice U.S. Supreme Court
- Thurgood Marshall Associate Justice U.S. Supreme Court
- Sandra Day O'Connor Associate Justice U.S. Supreme Court
- William H. Rehnquist Chief Justice U.S. Supreme Court
- Antonin Scalia Associate Justice U.S. Supreme Court
- John Paul Stevens Associate Justice U.S. Supreme Court
- Frank Susman Attorney Reproductive Health Services
- William L. Webster Attorney General Missouri
- Byron R. White Associate Justice U.S. Supreme Court
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