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Bellotti v. Baird (1976)

In Brief

Bellotti v. Baird (1976): Court rules that the interpretation of a state parental consent law should be made by a state court first

The Massachusetts legislature passed a law that required abortion clinics to obtain the consent of parents before performing a non-emergency abortion on their minor daughter, and if they refused to consent, to obtain approval from a judge.

A Boston abortion clinic filed suit in federal court claiming the law created a parental veto to abortion and therefore denied minors their constitutional right to abortion.

The Supreme Court dismissed the case on the grounds that the law should be reviewed first by a Massachusetts state court.

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