It is so important to know what your rights are as a teen in California. Many of my peers only know a little or maybe or no amount of information on their rights. Get informed about your rights on abortion, confidentiality, minor consent, and more today!
As you probably know, abortion is legal in California. I'm sure many teens, however, are worried about their parents finding out if they get an abortion, but that’s probably because they aren’t aware of their rights. You do not need your parent’s or partner’s permission to get an abortion and it is completely confidential. Not all clinics offer abortion services, but you can learn more about clinics that offer them on our website. Doctors recommend getting an abortion as early as possible to avoid any health complications.
In California, you have access to sensitve medical services including birth control, emergency contraception, testing and treatment for STDs (ages 12 and over), pregnancy testing, abortion, and mental health services. What teenagers may not know is that… it’s all confidential! It’s your right, even if you’re under 18. Remember to speak to your doctor about keeping it private if you are listed under your parent’s medical insurance. Learn more about that here.
Don’t ditch school! You have rights…
Ready to find out something MANY teenagers aren’t aware of? Teenagers are allowed to be excused from school to access minor consent health services without parental permission! Instead of figuring out a way to ditch school or coming up with an absence excuse, you are allowed to tell your school you need to leave early to go to a clinic. By law, your school is not required to inform your parents and is required to excuse your absence.
What is Emergency Contraception?
Emergency contraception, or the “morning-after pill,” is taken after unprotected sex or when another form of birth control fails to prevent pregnancy. It is not a type of abortion. If you believe the condom might have ripped during sex, or if you didn’t use birth control, you can still prevent pregnancy by taking emergency contraception. The morning-after pill only works up to 5 days after unprotected sex, and works best the sooner you take it. You can have access to this without a prescription, but only at some pharmacies. You can also get the IUD Paragard inserted as Emergency Contraception - it is extremely effective at preventing pregnancy up to 5 days after unprotected sex and can be left in for up to 12 years as long-term reversible birth control!
What is Minor Consent?
Minor consent means that as a teenager in California, you have access to sexual and reproductive health services and you don’t need anyone’s permission to do so. Teenagers are allowed to have access to birth control, emergency contraception, testing and treatment for STDs (only if you are 12 and over), pregnancy testing and prenatal care, abortion services, and mental health services.