As physicians, we encourage young women to talk to their parents about health issues, including contraception and pregnancy, but we oppose parental consent and notification laws, because they result in delays and restricted access to timely medical care and are harmful to the health of adolescents.
In the case of teen pregnancy, it is our experience that most adolescents do involve a parent or a trusted adult family member in the decision to have an abortion. The young women who choose not to tell a parent do so for a number of good reasons, including fear of abuse or abandonment, or because they don’t live with their parents.
When the state interferes with minors’ decisions about abortion or birth control, it forces the teen to choose a parent over another trusted adult who might be better suited to support her.
Find out what we are doing to protect vulnerable young women from restrictions that could endanger their physical and emotional health.