Bellotti v. Baird (1979)

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Bellotti v. Baird
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued February 27, 1979
Decided July 2, 1979
Full case nameBellotti, Attorney General of Massachusetts, et al. v. Baird, et al.
Citations443 U.S. 622 (more)
99 S. Ct. 3035; 61 L. Ed. 2d 797; 1979 U.S. LEXIS 17
Prior history450 F. Supp. 997 (D. Mass. 1978), affirmed.
States may require parental notification before a minor may obtain an abortion, but must provide an alternative procedure to parental approval.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Warren E. Burger
Associate Justices
William J. Brennan Jr. · Potter Stewart
Byron White · Thurgood Marshall
Harry Blackmun · Lewis F. Powell Jr.
William Rehnquist · John P. Stevens
Case opinions
MajorityPowell, joined by Burger, Stewart, Rehnquist
ConcurrenceStevens (in judgment only), joined by Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. XIV

Bellotti v. Baird, 443 U.S. 622 (1979) is a United States Supreme Court case that ruled 8-1 that teenagers do not have to secure parental consent to obtain an abortion.

The Court elaborated on its parental consent decision of 1976. It implies that states may be able to require a pregnant, unmarried minor to obtain parental consent to an abortion if the state law provides an alternative procedure to parental approval, such as letting the minor seek a state judge's approval instead. The plurality opinion declined to extend the full right to minors to seek and obtain an abortion, which was granted to adult women in Roe v. Wade.[1] The Court rejected the extension to minors by placing emphasis on the especially vulnerable nature of children, their "inability to make critical decisions in an informed and mature manner; and the importance of the parental role in child rearing."[1][2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Wharton, Linda (2009). "Roe at Thirty-Six and Beyond: Enhancing Protection for Abortion Rights Through State Constitutions". William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law.
  2. ^ Bellotti v. Baird (Bellotti II), 443 U.S. 622, 643 (1979)

External links[edit]