Rights of Minors and
Other Special Cases
With few restrictions, adult women in the United States have the right to choose abortion as an option. But what are the options for a pregnant teenager? And what are the rights of pregnant women serving terms in prison? Should fathers have a say in abortions? The choice of abortion is always a serious decision and certain circumstances can make the decision even more complicated.
A minor generally has the right to an abortion in the United States with one major restriction: parents must agree to the procedure or at least be told about it. Thirtyfive of the fifty states currently have laws that say one or both parents must be notified or must give consent. Nine states have parental laws not yet in effect. Six states, plus Washington, D.C., do not require a parent's involvement. A 2003 report in American Psychologist indicated that when minors become pregnant, “many, if not most, adolescents voluntarily tell their parents. Studies have re