William Green


This article will examine the Supreme Court's modification of Roe v. Wade to permit third party participation in a minor's abortion decision-making: how it originated, what direction it has taken and at whose initiative, and what issues remain. This article will argue that the Court's difficulty in resolving this issue resulted from the justices' disagreement over what recognition, if any, should be given to the minor-related interests that states have asserted to support third party involvement. This article will also argue that the Court's eventual ability to reach agreement was due primarily to the policy leadership of Justice Powell. Part I will set out a framework for the analysis of third party participation. This framework is based on five third party models and three judicial rationales for the analysis of statutes based on those models. This framework will then be used to evaluate the Court's initial response in Planned Parenthood v. Danforth, Bellotti v. Baird (Bellotti II), and H. L. v. Matheson. Part II will then employ the framework to examine the Akron Center and Ashcroft cases. It will describe the third party provisions in an Akron ordinance and a Missouri statute and then analyze the judicial response to those laws. Part III will draw some conclusions regarding the Court's decisions and then discuss what third party issues remain to be decided.