Did you know: in California, teens have the right to access to abortion services without restrictions

Finding out that you or your partner are pregnant can be exciting, scary or a mix of both! When you, a friend or partner find out about a pregnancy, there are 3 options to consider: carrying the pregnancy to term and becoming a parent, adoption , or ending the pregnancy.

In this post, we are going to focus on breaking down some of the myths surrounding access to abortion in California, to make sure you have the facts for yourself and/or your loved ones! If you are not from California, be sure to look up the laws surrounding abortion in your state!

Myth: Abortion is illegal.
Reality: Abortion is LEGAL and ACCESSIBLE to teens in California without restrictions. That means there are no mandatory waiting times or forced counseling like there are in other states.

Myth: Teens need their parent’s permission to get an abortion.
Reality: If you are pregnant, no matter whether you are under or over 18 years old, you have the right to have an abortion without needing to obtain permission – or consent - from anybody else. That goes for your parents or the person you got pregnant with. In California, parents are also not required to be notified in advance of a teen receiving abortion care. Learn more here.

Myth: I can’t choose abortion because I can’t afford it.
Reality: Medi-Cal covers abortions and all related services, like pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and subsequent birth control. (Medi-Cal will also cover pregnancy related care if you choose to continue a pregnancy). If you don’t have health insurance and think you’re pregnant, you can get coverage fast! Check out Covered California for information on how to get emergency Medi-Cal coverage.

If you have a California-based private health insurance, you are covered for the same set of services that Medi-Cal offers, confidentially – but only if you submit a Confidential Communications Request (CCR). If you choose to submit a CCR, you should call your health plan to make sure that your CCR has been accepted and your confidentiality is protected BEFORE YOU ACCESS care you want to keep private. If you don’t have health insurance and aren’t eligible for Medi-Cal, many clinics have sliding fee scales so you won’t be asked to pay more than you can. Remember, you can always make a quick call and ask about payments! For more information about how to access abortion care, visit www.accesswhj.org.

To Learn More

If you are sexually active and wish to prevent unintended pregnancy, use our Find a Clinic page to get access to birth control and emergency contraception. If you are interested in getting FREE male condoms, visit the Condom Access Project to receive them by mail or find a condom access site near you.

If you are pregnant and wish to continue your pregnancy, check out our Know Your Rights page for key information on resources you can access during and after pregnancy.

If you are pregnant and think adoption is the best option for you, visit www.teenhealthrights.org to learn more about the process.