Teen Birth Control Confidentiality Laws

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Teenage pregnancy is on a steady rise. However, laws have been set in place to not only to help teenagers prevent pregnancy if choosing to became sexually active, but to also keep it as a confidential matter between doctor and patient if they do choose to take a form of birth control. The laws vary from state to state, but there are many states that allow teens to receive prescribed birth control and other birth control counseling and services without the consent of parents.

Teenagers Rights

  • In most homes, teenagers have to live by the rights parents give them. While that is still very much true for teenagers, some states are saying that teens have the right the choose birth control methods for themselves without divulging that information to their parents.

    In 1997, the Supreme Court passed a law saying that minors could purchase condoms without permission from a parent or any adult. While some states have different laws for attaining prescribed methods of birth control, many are giving teenagers the green flag to make the private decision for themselves without interference from their parents.

Reason for Confidentiality

  • The reason behind many states allowing minors to make birth control decisions for themselves without the consent of parents is pretty simple. If teens are going to engage in sex, it should be safe sex and teenagers are more than likely not going to approach parents for permission to have sex, let alone safe sex. While many states prefer that teens talk with their parents before making the decision to become sexually active they rather have teens be safe when having sex--instead of being afraid to talk to parents and then going out and having unprotected sex.

Explicit Consent

  • Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia plainly allow minors or teenagers to consent to contraceptives services. Twenty-five states allow minors or teenagers to consent to contraceptive services in one or more situations. This could be prescribed birth control or the Plan B pill (also known as the "morning after pill"). Some of the states are Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia
    Georgia and New York.

Consent to Protect Health

  • There are three states that allow minors or teenagers to consent to contraceptive services if a doctor or physician feel that they can be in any health danger if they don't receive contraceptive services. The three that allow contraceptive consent due to the endangerment of health are Florida, Illinois and Maine.

Marriage Considerations

  • In 21 states minors who are married can consent to receiving contraceptive services. These 21 states include Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi
    Missouri and Nebraska.

Other Reasons for Consent

  • Alabama, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Maine allow minors who are already parents and minors who have been pregnant before to consent to contraceptive services.

    Eleven states allow minors or teenagers to consent to contraceptive services if they are high school graduates; have reached a minimum age; demonstrate a level of maturity; and receive a referral from the clergy or a physician.

    States that allow mature minors to receive contraceptive services are Kentucky, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina and West Virginia. In Alabama and Pennsylvania, high school graduates can receive contraceptive services without the permission of an adult. Referrals are acceptable in the states of Illinois and Mississippi.

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