Bellotti v. Baird


William Baird (founder and director of Parents Aid Society, Inc.), v Francis Bellotti (MA State Attorney General) - 1979

Baird challenged a statute requiring women under 18 to obtain parental or judicial consent before having an abortion.

The Court found the law unconstitutional because it gave either a parent or a judge absolute power over a minor's abortion decision – no matter how mature she was or that an abortion might be in her best interests. Bellotti v. Baird established that all minors must have the opportunity to gain a judge’s approval to have an abortion, without first seeking the consent of their parents, and that these court proceedings must be confidential and speedy.