Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood for Northern New England: Supreme Court Opinion

KELLY A. AYOTTE, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, PETITIONER v. PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND ET AL. ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIRST CIRCUIT

January 18, 2006

JUSTICE O.CONNOR delivered the opinion of the Court.

We do not revisit our abortion precedents today, but rather address a question of remedy: If enforcing a statute that regulates access to abortion would be unconstitutional in medical emergencies, what is the appropriate judicial response? We hold that invalidating the statute entirely is not always necessary or justified, for lower courts may be able to render narrower declaratory and injunctive relief.