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United States v. Vuitch (1971)

In Brief

In 1901 Congress passed a law making abortion illegal in the District of Columbia except where necessary for "the preservation of the mother's life or health." Milan Vuitch, an abortion doctor, was indicted for violating the D.C. law. He filed suit claiming the law was unconstitutionally vague because it subjected abortion doctors to prosecution without explaining what "health" meant.

The Supreme Court disagreed. The Court concluded that "health" was a clear standard and that it included psychological as well as physical well-being. But the Court ruled it was up to the prosecutor to prove that an abortion was not done for the mother's health. Vuitch was allowed to continue his abortion practice.

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