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Young People and Abortion

Young people can and should be able to make their own decisions about their reproductive lives. Under 18 and want to know more about accessing abortion and your legal rights? We’re here to help.

We hope the information on this page will help you better understand what is happening in your state and throughout the country, but this is not legal advice. To talk to a lawyer, call 844-868-2812 or contact us through our secure online form.

On this page, we provide links to other organizations that are not a part of If/When/How or the Repro Legal Helpline. We are not responsible for any information they offer and/or services they provide. We are also not responsible for any actions you take based on the information and/or services they provide.

Yes. Abortion is a human right, and abortion is still a legal right in a majority of states. But in 14 states, no one can get an abortion, no matter how old they are, because abortion is banned. And 21 states make people under 18, 17, or 16 tell or get permission from one or both parents to get an abortion.


Everyone has the constitutional right to go to another state to access abortion care. But no matter what state you travel to, you still have to follow the laws in that state. This means that if you go to a state that forces young people to involve a parent, you will have to do that or get a judicial bypass from a judge in that state. You can learn more about the judicial bypass process under Judicial Bypass on this page.

You can find out about the laws in your state and nearby states here.  You can also call 844-868-2812 or contact us through our secure form to speak with a lawyer.

You might be able to get help paying for your abortion through the clinic if you let them know you need it. Many clinics understand that young people might also need help paying for their abortion. Sometimes clinics work with an abortion fund or practical support organization. These are groups that can help you get to your abortion appointment or help pay for the costs of getting an abortion. Some funds only pay for the procedure. Others only pay for costs like travel, hotel, or childcare. Usually you need to schedule  an appointment at a clinic  before getting help with payment. To find funding or practical support, you can go to:

21 states have forced parental involvement laws that force people under 18, 17, or 16 to tell or get permission from one or both parents to have an abortion. Usually, it needs  to be in writing. And most states say that only a parent or legal guardian (someone with a court order saying they take care of you) can be notified or give permission.

If you cannot or do not want to tell a parent, or your parents will not support your decision, you may still be able to get an abortion. You can go to a state that does not force young people to involve a parent, or you can get a judicial bypass. Learn more about judicial bypass below.

To see what the laws are in your state, click here.

Parental consent means that one or both of your parents must give you written permission to get an abortion. What your parent needs to write or sign depends on the state. Usually it means that your parent must go with you to your appointment to show their identification and sign a form. Some clinics will also have copies of the letter that your parent needs to sign.

Parental notice means that the abortion provider has to tell your parent or legal guardian about your decision to have an abortion, usually at least 24 hours before your appointment. Your parent or guardian does NOT need to agree or give you permission. They only need to be told about your decision.

You can find out about the laws in your state and nearby states here.  You can also call 844-868-2812 or contact us through our secure form to speak with a lawyer.

Yes. You can either travel to a state that does not force young people to involve a parent or you can get a judicial bypass.

A judicial bypass is a legal process where a judge can give you permission to decide whether to have an abortion without involving your parent or legal guardian. In some states it’s called a judicial waiver.

To get a judicial bypass, you usually need to go to a courthouse to fill out a form called a petition. The court will then schedule you to meet with a judge for a hearing.

When you turn in your petition, you can also ask the court to give you a lawyer to help you with the process for free. Or we can help you find a lawyer. A lawyer’s job is to represent YOU. This means they will ask the court for what you want and give you advice before and during the hearing.

If you want a lawyer to help you with the judicial bypass process, call 844-868-2812 or contact us through our secure form to speak with a lawyer.

A hearing is a meeting with a judge, usually at a courthouse. In some states these hearings are virtual or online. Every hearing is different, but in general, you will need to:

  • swear that everything you say during the hearing is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth
  • answer questions asked by your lawyer, the judge, or both about your life, including your age, family, living situation, and future plans
  • answer questions about why you cannot involve a parent

After the hearing, the judge will decide whether you are mature enough to make the decision to have an abortion without a parent, or if not involving a parent is in your best interests.

Answering personal questions in front of a judge can feel really scary, and invade your privacy, but a lawyer can help give you advice on how to answer these questions.

Every courthouse is different, so we don’t know the exact questions are important to each judge. But some common questions are about whether you have had a job, if you have lived away from your parents, if you have traveled by yourself, if you have your own money, and if you have made other big decisions in your life. You might also be asked what has happened since you found out you were pregnant, including if you’ve talked to a clinic about your options, and if you understand the different types of abortion methods available to you and what they involve.

Almost every judge wants to know that even if you do not have the support of a parent, you still have the support of an adult in making this decision. They might also ask what you think will happen if you don’t have an abortion, and how you decided you needed an abortion.

Every state is different, but usually, the court has to schedule the hearing and give you an answer about its decision within one week. Going through court to get a judicial bypass should be a quick process.

In most states, your judicial bypass is completely confidential. But in some states, either the judge or your abortion provider has to tell your parent that you got a judicial bypass order or that you plan to have an abortion.

You can find out about the laws in your state and nearby states here.  You can also call 844-868-2812 or contact us through our secure form to speak with a lawyer.

No! You do not have to pay any money to get a judicial bypass. And you have the right to have a lawyer help you get a judicial bypass for free.

The only way to confirm if you are pregnant is with a pregnancy test. You can get an at-home pregnancy test at a local drug store like Walgreens or CVS, or you can take a test at a reproductive health clinic. To find a clinic near you, you can go to

No. Plan B is emergency contraception, also known as the morning after pill. It is a pill or pills that you take after sex or a sexual assault to stop a pregnancy. ​​Emergency contraception works best when it is taken as soon as possible.. You can get Plan B over the counter without the approval of a health care provider, no matter how old you are. If you have health insurance, it may cover the cost. Some states cover the cost if you are low-income, even if you don’t have insurance. To learn more about emergency contraception, you can go to Planned Parenthood or Bedsider.

Plan B does not work if you are already pregnant. It will not end a pregnancy like abortion pills. In the U.S., you cannot get abortion pills over the counter. A licensed health care provider usually prescribes two pills — one is called mifepristone and the other is called misoprostol — to end a pregnancy. People also take misoprostol alone to end a pregnancy. To learn more about how abortion pills work, you can go to:

If you are under 18, you may not be able to get abortion pills from a health care provider without a parent or legal guardian. You can learn more under Parental Involvement on this page.

For accurate information about a range of sexual and reproductive health issues—from consent to birth control to miscarriage—you can download the Euki app on an iPhone or Android phone.

Euki is a secure and private period tracker and sexual health app that will never collect personal data or information about you. Find out more on their website.

You can also go to Planned Parenthood or Bedsider for accurate sexual and reproductive health information.

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