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What did Doe v. Bolton decide?

Doe v. Bolton challenged a Georgia law which required the approval of multiple physicians, under limited circumstances, for an abortion to take place. The ruling overturned limits on obtaining abortions such as restrictions on what point during a pregnancy an abortion can be obtained, whether one can cross state lines to obtain an abortion and whether a doctor has to approve an abortion.

In Doe v. Bolton, the court ruled that abortion for “the health of the mother” could not be restricted, while adopting a very broad definition of what “may relate to health”, including “all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age—relevant to the wellbeing of the patient”. This effectively made abortion legal through all nine months of pregnancy for almost any reason.

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