Ravi Singhvi September 10, 2000Legal BriefTitle: Dr. Jane Hodgson v. Minnesota U.S. 417Legal Issue: Whether or not Dr. Jane Hodgson actions were justifiable and if Minnesotas law against abortion is unconstitutional.
Facts: According to Minnesota law Dr. Jane Hodgson performed an illegal abortion on April 29, 1970 on a Nancy Kay Widmyer. Dr. Jane Hodgson believed that the constitutional right of privacy is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. She was arrested, tried and convicted of breaking Minnesota law on abortions. Arguments: The Minnesota law on abortions was infringing on the rights of privacy.
If whether or not a few cells could be considered a human or not, Dr Hodgson was more concerned with the mother than a few cells in the body which would have let to life. The difficult life a baby with birth defects would have to live with it and the troubles the family would have to go through dealing with the child. Counter Argument: Against Minnesota law.
Judgment: Chief Judge Edward J. Devitt, Judge Charles J. Vogel, along with Judge Philip Neville split 2-1. Judge Vogel dissented without leaving behind an opinion. While the other two judges verdict indicted Dr. Hodgson. The United States Supreme Court denied the appeal, because they did not want to interfere with a subject such as abortion. After the case of Roe v. Wade Dr. Hodgsons indictment was reversed.
Holding: The state supreme courts Judges were strict Catholics making their opinion tainted. The state believed federal judges shouldnt interfere with state decisions. Roe v. Wade proves that a right to a womans privacy is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. Dr. Hodgson also argued out a case proving that it would be socially and family destructive if teens must tell their parents of their abortions 48 hours before. The law was later repealed and it was up to the teenager to inform her guardians. Conclusion: Dr. Jane Hodgson helped the entire woman across America to have control over her own pregnancy. Giving them the deciding factor of what they want to do with it weighing out the circumstances and the life of the child.