ON JULY 3, 1989, the US Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated decision in Webster v Reproductive Health Services.1 The level of anxiety and hope this case induced in supporters of different views on the abortion issue is expressed in the fact that more amicus curiae briefs were filed with the Court in this case than in any other case in history. This was the first abortion case to be heard by the Court with its new majority of more conservative justices, which includes the two judges who dissented in the Court's landmark abortion decision, Roe v Wade.2 Indeed, both Missouri and the United States explicitly asked the Court to overrule Roe.
For the most part, the specific provisions of the Missouri statute that were upheld involved the state's prohibition of the performance of abortions by public employees and in state-financed facilities. This comports with previous Court decisions
Annas GJ, Glantz LH, Mariner WK. The Right of Privacy Protects the Doctor-Patient Relationship. JAMA. 1990;263(6):858-861. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440060104041