Need help? Call our free Repro Legal Helpline: 844-868-2812

Your Rights When Seeking Medical Care

Your Rights When Seeking Medical Care
You may be worried about what can happen if you need medical care when you are pregnant or after a pregnancy loss. Remember:

  • You have the right to understand and agree to your treatment. And you get to decide what information about your health you want to share with a health care provider.

There is no law that makes you tell your health care provider that you had an abortion, whether it was in a clinic, at home through telehealth, or self-managed. An abortion is a pregnancy loss, and you are not legally required to share anything you feel uncomfortable with. 

The laws in your state might be different if you are under the age of 18. Sometimes, health care providers can tell your parent or legal guardian about your health care, even if you don’t want them to. If you have questions about your medical privacy rights in your state as a legal minor, call us at 844-868-2812 or contact us through our secure online form to speak with a lawyer

Health care providers should get your informed consent before doing any kind of test. This means they should explain the test to you, and you should understand and agree to the test. But we know this doesn’t always happen. 

Even if you were tested, medical providers say that there is no widely-used test or exam that can detect abortion pills if you took them between your teeth and gums or under your tongue. 

Learn more about talking to a health care provider here

No state laws make doctors or health care providers report someone who self-managed an abortion to the police. But what the law says and what happens in reality can be very different.

If a health care provider knows you self-managed your abortion, they should not tell anyone without your permission. State and federal laws make health care providers keep your medical information private. But sometimes, they may share your information, even though they should not. If this happened to you, and you are being investigated for self-managing an abortion, call us immediately at 844-868-2812 or contact us through our secure online form to speak with a lawyer.

Yes. Abortion is a human right, and is still a legal right in a majority of states. 

If you live in a state where abortion is still being legally provided, you have a right to that care no matter your age, immigration status, or whether you have insurance. You can learn more about the laws in your state here [insert link to map.]

If you live in a state where abortion is banned, you still have the constitutional right to travel. When you have an abortion in a state where abortions are being legally provided, you are not committing a crime in that state or in the state where you live.

If you are undocumented and travel out of state, there could be immigration consequences. For example, depending on where you live, there may be Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) checkpoints as you cross state lines. If you are stopped by CBP at a checkpoint, they can question you about your immigration status and detain you if they choose to. To learn more about traveling within the U.S. as someone who is undocumented, you can read this guide.

If you are under 18 and pregnant, there may be other laws that affect you, like parental consent or notification. You can learn more on our Young People & Abortion page, or call 844-868-2812 or contact us through our secure online form to speak with a lawyer

Even if you live in a state with an abortion ban, there is an exception to save the life of the pregnant person. You also have the legal right to receive emergency medical care in an emergency room in every state, including states with abortion bans. Emergency medical care includes treatment for a pregnant person in labor or experiencing a miscarriage.

There is a federal law, called the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), that says every person who has a medical emergency and goes to an emergency room has the right to get the care they need. This is true, no matter your age, immigration status, or whether you have insurance.

But in some states with abortion bans, hospitals have been confused about what medical care they can or cannot give to pregnant people. And unfortunately, some pregnant people have not been given the care they needed in a pregnancy emergency.

If you are being or have been denied the life saving care you need, call 844-868-2812 or contact us through our secure online form to speak with a lawyer.

Complete our secure form to talk to a lawyer

We respond to all emergencies within 24 hours. For all other legal questions, we will get back to you within 2 business days.

If you are a pregnant or birthing person looking for information about the laws in your state or are in need of legal advice, please click no and continue with this form.
If/When/How provides technical assistance to reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations, abortion funds, health care providers, law students, and lawyers about abortion laws throughout the United States, including up-to-date information about access to clinical care, self-managed abortion, forced parental involvement laws and judicial bypass, birth justice, and mandated reporting requirements for health care providers. The technical assistance we provide includes legal information and trainings.

Have you taken an at home pregnancy test or visited a health care clinic to confirm that you are pregnant?

We do not sell or provide abortion pills and cannot tell people where to get abortion pills. We cannot give medical advice.

We respond to people of all ages, but laws can be different for legal minors. This means the answer to your question may depend on your age, and we ask for your age to be able to give you the most accurate information.

We ask for your city in case we need to connect you with a lawyer or local resources.

We are based in the U.S. and can only answer legal questions about U.S. laws.

PLEASE NOTE: This form will send a confirmation email to the address you provide. If you do not want to receive a confirmation email, please call and leave a message instead at 844-868-2812.

Blocked numbers show up on caller ID as "Unknown" or "No Number." Some phones will automatically send these calls to voicemail.

We will do our best to call you at the requested time, and will make three attempts to reach you.

To top