The Casey Standard for Evaluating Facial Attacks on Abortion Statutes

Since the Supreme Court declared in 1973 that the Constitution grants women a limited right to an abortion, the Justices have decided abortion cases with reference to such weighty matters as religious freedom, the disadvantaged position of women in society, and the proper role of the judiciary. Understandably, the Supreme Court’s writings on abortion deal extensively with these large themes. The Court, and certainly others, view abortion cases as rivaling Brown v. Board of Education in their importance to the nation. While the Court has focused on the big issues, however, it has neglected an equally important, if less emotionally compelling, one: namely, under what circumstances should a statute restricting access to abortion be invalidated “on its face”?