While state laws vary, if you are under 18, the laws of the state where you are seeking an abortion, not the state you live in, will apply. In Maryland, the law states that if you are under 18 years old, one parent (or legal guardian) must be notified of your decision to have an abortion prior to the procedure. However, you may qualify for an exception in the professional judgment of the abortion provider.1 You can see our previous blog post about more details regarding parental notification.
The reason for these types of laws is that abortion is a serious medical procedure. If there are complications, you may need a parent or another adult to help you seek medical attention.
Although it can be difficult to talk to parents about an unplanned pregnancy, you are not alone. At The Pregnancy Clinic, you can speak openly about all of your options with a caring counselor who will protect your privacy. Pregnancy Clinic counselors can also help you make a plan for how to discuss your situation with the important people in your life.
The sonogram is another important aspect of your decision making process. Before you make any decision about how to move forward, get a sonogram to find out whether or not your pregnancy is viable (alive). You may not even need an abortion since up to 30% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. A pregnancy test cannot tell you if your pregnancy is going to miscarry. Sonograms are available free at The Pregnancy Clinic and do not require parental notification.
1. Abortion Consent Laws. American Women’s Services Web site. http://www.americanwomensservices.com/faq/abortion_consent_laws.php Accessed August 6, 2013