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Webster v. Reproductive Health Services  (1989)

In Brief

Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989): Court rules state funding of abortion is not required and upholds "life begins at conception" preamble

The Missouri legislature passed a law which banned the use of state money, employees, and facilities for abortions unnecessary to save the mother's life. The law included a preamble stating life begins at conception. Reproductive Health Services and other abortion providers filed suit claiming the law was unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade.

The Supreme Court disagreed. The Court ruled that there is no affirmative right to funding or assistance for abortion and that the preamble merely stated a value judgment but did not create a basis for regulating abortion.

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