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Kathryn Kolbert Planned Parenthood v. Casey Records

Identifier: SC08

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The bulk of the collection is comprised of court documents and research files created by Kathryn Kolbert as she prepared her arguments for Planned Parenthood v. Casey. These records include court transcripts, correspondence and memoranda, and documentation of related court cases. A number of periodicals appear throughout the collection, most notably several volumes of Reproductive Freedom News. Additional periodicals chronicle publicity surrounding the case and take the form of newspaper and magazine clippings. Other publicity materials include the text of speeches made by Kolbert on the topic of reproductive justice. This collection also includes records of Kolbert's work with multiple reproductive justice advocacy organizations including the Pro-Choice Public Education Project and the Center for Reproducive Law and Society.


  • Creation: 1981 - 2008



This collection has no restrictions.

Publication Rights

Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Barnard Archives and Special Collections. The Barnard Archives and Special Collections approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Reproductions Restrictions

Photocopies or scans may be made for research purposes.

Biography and Historical Background

Born in 1952, Kathryn (Kitty) Kolbert, is a lawyer and educator. Previously the Constance Hess Williams Director of Barnard College’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies, Kolbert has been a public interest lawyer specializing in reproductive rights since obtaining her Juris Doctor from Temple University in 1977. From 1977 through 1979, Kolbert was an attorney with Community Legal Services in Philadelphia. Following that, she served as an attorney at the Women’s Law Project, from 1979-1988. During this time Kolbert co-founded and acted as the Policy Director for Women’s Agenda in Philadelphia. She has also served as the former President of the People for the American Way, as the State Coordinating Counsel of the American Civil Liberty Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project, and as a Co-Founder and Vice President of the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy.

Between 1988 and 1989, the Pennsylvania legislature amended its Abortion Control Act, authored by Stephen F. Friend in 1982. The new provisions required a twenty-four hour waiting period and informed consent prior to the procedure. Minors seeking an abortion would necessitate the consent of at least one guardian and married individuals would be required to notify spouses. In 1992, Kolbert argued Planned Parenthood v. Casey 505 U.S. 833 (1992) before the United States Supreme Court. The case challenged the constitutionality of these abortion regulations in Pennsylvania. In a decision written by Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and David Souter, the Supreme Court upheld the provisions of twenty-four hour waiting periods and informed consent for minors, but struck down the provision for spousal consent. Ultimately, the ruling reaffirmed Roe v. Wade, prohibiting states from disallowing abortions, but it overruled the Roe decision’s legal distinction of the trimester and the use of strict scrutiny for juridical review of government regulation of abortions.


9.17 Linear Feet (22 document boxes, 1 half document box)




This collection consists of records, related to the Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, that were collected and created by laywer and educator Kathryn (Kitty) Kolbert.

Collection Arrangement

The records are arranged into six series and the orignal order of the collection has been maintained. The series arrangement is as follows:

Series 1, Planned Parenthood v. Casey Court Records
Series 2, Planned Parenthood v. Casey Correspondence and Memoranda
Series 3, Advocacy Work and Speeches Given by Kathryn Kolbert
Series 4, Related Court Cases
Series 5, Kathryn Kolbert Research Files and Notes
Series 6. Newsletters and News Clippings

Physical Location

This collection is located in the Barnard Archives and Special Collections, Barnard Library. To use this collection, please contact the Barnard Archives and Special Collections at 212.854.4079 or

Acquisition Information

Gift of Kathryn Kolbert, 2013. The collection was delivered to the Barnard Archives in three deposits beginning in 2013.

Appraisal note

A number of attorney client work privilege documents were identified in the collection. At the request of Kathryn Kolbert and her clients, these materials have been removed from the collection and returned to Kolbert. In the place of each removed record, a separation slip describing the removed item has been put in its place. In total, 22 documents contained in 1 document box, or .4 linear feet, were transferred out of the collection.


Accruals are not expected.

Related Collections

Related collections include SC.15 Maggie Leigh Groff Abortion Control Act Records.

Processing History

This collection was processed and the finding aid written by Shannon O'Neill in February, 2017.

Guide to Kathryn Kolbert Planned Parenthood v. Casey Records
Shannon O'Neill
© 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Barnard Archives and Special Collections Repository

3009 Broadway
New York NY 10027 United States