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Parental involvement in minors' abortions.

BACKGROUND: A majority of states require parental involvement in a minor's decision to have an abortion. In light of two U.S. Supreme Court rulings that prohibit parents from having absolute veto over their daughters' decision to have an abortion, many states require the consent or notification of only one parent, usually 24 or 48 hours before the procedure. Many parental involvement requirements also include a medical emergency exception and a judicial bypass procedure, through which a minor may receive court approval to obtain an abortion without parental involvement. Not all states adhere to this model. On the more stringent end of the spectrum, a handful of states require the consent or notification of both parents. On the other end, several states allow grandparents or other adult relatives to be involved in place of the minors' parents, or as in Maine the law allows a minor with the guidance and counseling of an abortion provider to consent to the procedure. In cases of neglect or abuse, some states waive the consent or notification requirement altogether. State court decisions have also contributed to the diversity in requirements: Some state courts have enjoined laws they conclude violate their states' constitutions; at the same time, similar or even more restrictive laws remain in effect in other states.

HIGHLIGHTS:

* 34 states require some parental involvement in a minor's decision to have an abortion.

* 22 states require parental consent only; 2 of which require both parents to consent.

* 10 states require parental notification only; 1 of which requires that both parents be notified.

* 2 states require both parental consent and notification.

* All of the 34 states that require parental involvement have an alternative process for minors seeking an abortion.

* 34 states include a judicial bypass procedure, which allows a minor to obtain approval from a court.

* 6 states also permit a minor to obtain an abortion if a grandparent or other adult relative is involved in the decision.

* Most states that require parental involvement make exceptions under certain circumstances.

* 33 states permit a minor to obtain an abortion in a medical emergency.

* 14 states permit a minor to obtain an abortion in cases of abuse, assault, incest or neglect.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

For information on state legislative and policy activity click on Guttmacher's Monthly State Update and for state level information and data on reproductive health issues, click on Guttmacher's State Center. To see state specific abortion information click on State Facts About Abortion.

Jones R, Singh S and Purcell A, Parent-child relations among minor females attending U.S. family planning clinics, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2005, 37(4):192-201.

Dailard C and Richardson C, Teenagers' access to confidential reproductive health services, The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, 2005, 8(4):6-11.

Jones RK et al., Adolescents' reports of parental knowledge of adolescents' use of sexual health services and their reactions to mandated parental notification for prescription contraception, Journal of the American Medical Association, 2005, 293:340-348.

Jones RK and Boonstra H, Confidential reproductive health services for minors: the potential impact of mandated parental involvement for contraception, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2004, 36(5):182-191.

Boonstra H and Nash E, Minors and the right to consent to health care, The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, 2000, 3(4):4-8.

Saul R, Using--and misusing--data on age differences between minors and their sexual partners, The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, 1999, 2(4):10-11 & 14.

Saul R, The child custody protection act: A 'minor' issue at the top of the antiabortion agenda, The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, 1998, 1(4):1-2 & 7.

Henshaw SK, The impact of requirements for parental consent on minors' abortions in Mississippi, Family Planning Perspectives, 1995, 27(3):120-122.
PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN MINORS' ABORTIONS

 REQUIRED PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT

 Notification Notification
STATE Consent Only and Consent Only

Alabama X
Alaska (a)
Arizona X
Arkansas X
California (a)
Colorado X
Delaware X *, ([dagger])
Florida X
Georgia X
Idaho X
Illinois (a)
Indiana X
Iowa X
Kansas X
Kentucky X
Louisiana X
Massachusetts X
Michigan X
Minnesota Both parents
Mississippi Both parents
Missouri X
Montana (a)
Nebraska X
Nevada (a)
New Jersey (a)
New Mexico (a)
North Carolina X
North Dakota Both parents
Ohio X
Oklahoma X
Pennsylvania X
Rhode Island X
South Carolina X ([dagger])
South Dakota X
Tennessee X
Texas X
Utah X
Virginia X
West Virginia X *
Wisconsin X *
Wyoming X
TOTAL 22 2 10

 ALTERNATIVES

 Judicial Other Adult
STATE Bypass Relatives

Alabama X
Alaska
Arizona X
Arkansas X
California
Colorado X
Delaware X *, ([dagger]) X ([dagger])
Florida X
Georgia X
Idaho X
Illinois
Indiana X
Iowa X X
Kansas X
Kentucky X
Louisiana X
Massachusetts X
Michigan X
Minnesota X
Mississippi X
Missouri X
Montana
Nebraska X
Nevada
New Jersey
New Mexico
North Carolina X X
North Dakota X
Ohio X
Oklahoma X
Pennsylvania X
Rhode Island X
South Carolina X ([dagger]) X ([dagger])
South Dakota X
Tennessee X
Texas X
Utah X ([double dagger])
Virginia X X

West Virginia X *
Wisconsin X * X
Wyoming X
TOTAL 34 6

 EXCEPTIONS

 Abuse,
 Assault,
 Medical Incest or
STATE Emergency Neglect

Alabama X
Alaska
Arizona X X
Arkansas X X
California
Colorado X X
Delaware X ([dagger])
Florida X
Georgia X
Idaho X X
Illinois
Indiana X
Iowa X X
Kansas X X
Kentucky X
Louisiana X
Massachusetts X
Michigan X
Minnesota X X
Mississippi X
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska X X
Nevada X
New Jersey X
New Mexico
North Carolina X
North Dakota X
Ohio
Oklahoma X X
Pennsylvania X
Rhode Island
South Carolina X ([dagger]) X ([dagger])
South Dakota X
Tennessee X X
Texas X
Utah X X ([OMEGA])
Virginia X X
West Virginia X
Wisconsin X X
Wyoming X
TOTAL 33 14

Note: Except where indicated, policies require the involvement
of one parent.

(a) Enforcement permanently enjoined by court order; policy not in
effect.

* Allows specified health professionals to waive parental involvement
in limited circumstances.

([dagger]) While most states laws apply to all minors, Delaware's
law applies to women under 16 and South Carolina's law applies to
women under 17.

([double dagger]) The provision only applies to parental consent
requirements.

([OMEGA]) The provision only applies to the parental notice
requirements.
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Publication:State Policies in Brief (Series)
Article Type:Statistical table
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2009
Words:1031
Previous Article:Protecting access to clinics.
Next Article:State policies on later-term abortions.
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