In the Doe case the financial stress of the patient was outlined for the judge panel.

1) She was a 22-year-old Georgia citizen, married, and nine weeks pregnant. She had three living children. The two older ones had been placed in a foster home because of Doe's poverty and inability to care for them. The youngest, born July 19, 1969, had been placed for adoption. Her husband had recently abandoned her and she was forced to live with her indigent parents and their eight children. She and her husband, however, had become reconciled. He was a construction worker employed only sporadically. She had been a mental patient at the State Hospital. She had been advised that an abortion could be performed on her with less danger to her health than if she gave birth to the child she was carrying. She would be unable to care for or support the new child (U.S. Supreme Court DOE v. BOLTON, 410 U.S. 179 (1973)

410 U.S. 179 ("

This is something that can be decided ethically by a doctor. If he or she believes that birth and raising a child will have a negative impact on society, as well as the patient herself it is perfectly ethical to provide the requested service of an abortion.

The appeal that was filed in the case of Doe said that there had been many constitutional rights violated including: "This invaded her [410 U.S. 179, 186] rights of privacy and liberty in matters related to family, marriage, and sex, and deprived her of the right to choose whether to bear children. This was a violation of rights guaranteed her by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The statutes also denied her equal protection and procedural due process and, because they were unconstitutionally vague, deterred hospitals and doctors from performing abortions. She sued "on her own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated (U.S. Supreme Court DOE v. BOLTON, 410 U.S. 179 (1973)

410 U.S. 179 ("

This entire mind set, that the future mental health and financial health of the mother will have a direct impact on the life of the child provides the green light for this current case to be granted an abortion. The doctor in the current case can perform the abortion based on the statements given by the patient that the undue financial burden would be difficult for her.


The issue of abortion is one that is heated and emotional. The law allows for the performance of abortion, and in many instances it is left to the doctor to determine the mental health state of the patient requesting the procedure. If the doctor is charged with making sure the patient is of sound enough mind and body to handle having an abortion then the doctor should also be given the leeway to determine the serious mental and physical impact that a forced term will cause. This case is one in which it will be ethical to give this patient an abortion because of the statements made by the patient. The indication that the financial strain would be to much is enough. The doctor can ethically perform an abortion because the financial strain will cause mental stress for the mother. In addition the Doe v Bolton case allows an abortion if birth will cause physical severity for baby. If the mother does not want to carry the baby to term there is a chance that she will become depressed and stop eating or start doing drugs. This can have a severely negative affect on the fetus. All of these things provide an ethically supportive argument for providing the woman in this case with the requested abortion.


U.S. Supreme Court

DOE v. BOLTON, 410 U.S. 179 (1973)

410 U.S. 179