“Parental Involvement” Mandates for Abortion Harm Young People, But Policymakers Can Fight Back
Sophia Naide, Guttmacher Institute
First published online: February 19, 2020
Young people deserve access to the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion care. Yet, states have long imposed special barriers by forcing minors to involve their parents in their decision to have an abortion. These parental involvement mandates are unnecessary, deny young people’s bodily autonomy, and can add logistical and financial burdens to abortion care.
States are increasingly looking to young people’s access as they move in diverging directions on abortion rights. In 2020 so far, new parental involvement mandates have been introduced in three states, while bills to repeal existing requirements have been introduced in four states. States should repeal these requirements as one step toward a commitment to reproductive rights that centers the needs of marginalized groups.