Can You Get An Abortion Without Your Parents Finding Out?

Published: April 13, 2015
Dear Can You Get An Abortion Without Your Parents Finding Out?,

What should a girl do if she gets pregnant and wants an abortion, but does not want her parents to find out? Would her parents' insurance send them a statement that an abortion was covered on their plan? If she is 18 can she get her own insurance? What if she is under 18, then what would she have to do?


Dear Can You Get An Abortion Without Your Parents Finding Out?,

TeenHealthFX would like to start by giving you the following resource from the National Abortion Federation:

The NAF Hotline is available to answer any questions you may have about abortion, unintended pregnancy, or related issues. The Hotline is free, completely anonymous, and offers services to everyone, regardless of their individual situation.

For unbiased information about abortion and about other resources, including financial assistance, call toll-free 1-800-772-9100

Weekdays: 7:00 A.M.-11:00 P.M. Eastern time
Saturdays and Sundays: 9:00 A.M.-9:00 P.M.

For referrals to quality abortion providers call 1-877-257-0012 (no funding assistance provided on this line).
Weekdays: 9:00 A.M. – 9:00 P.M.
Saturday: 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

 

As for your specific questions, here is some general information:

Under 18

According to Planned Parenthood:

If you are under 18, your state may require one or both of your parents to give permission for your abortion or be told of your decision prior to the abortion. In most states with these requirements:

  • You can ask a judge to excuse you from getting permission or telling your parent or guardian. (This is called a "judicial bypass.")

  • A legal guardian can give permission or be notified in place of a parent.

  • If you meet legal rules showing that you are independent of the care and control of your parents or a guardian, you do not need to get their permission or notify them.

In some states, you can be excused from involving a parent without going to a judge if you are the victim of abuse or neglect and you or your doctor report this to the appropriate authorities. If you are facing a medical emergency and require an immediate abortion, most states will not impose their parental involvement requirements.

To find out more about the laws in your state and the judicial bypass option, contact your local Planned Parenthood health center.

You can also look up state information at the Planned Parenthood webpage Parental Consent and Notification Laws.

Over 18

If you are over 18 then you would not need to get your parents’ permission to get an abortion, nor would they have to be notified.

As for payment, your insurance may or may not cover abortion services. About two-thirds of insurance companies cover elective abortion to some degree. You can call your insurance company and/or Planned Parenthood at 1-800-230-PLAN to find out if Planned Parenthood is in your health plan and what services are included in your coverage. If there are services you need that are not covered, you can discuss your payment options with the clinic.

In terms of whether or not your parents will find out about the visit if you are under your parents’ insurance, keep in mind that different insurance companies have different policies, but many send home an explanation of benefits (EOB) that list visit details. The best way to know for sure is to call the customer services number on the back of your insurance card and ask. If your insurance company does send out an EOB and confidentiality is an issue, the clinic offering abortion services may be able to help you sign up for free, confidential coverage in our center. You can speak to a staff member at the clinic about this.

If your insurance does not cover elective abortion services, or you want to pay out of pocket to maintain confidentiality, this is what an abortion could cost: If you are offered the option to have an in-clinic abortion, the cost will be up to $1,500 in the first trimester (although often less). If you are offered the option to have a medication abortion by taking the abortion pill, the cost will be up to $800 (although often less).

General Information About Abortions

For more information on this topic, read Planned Parenthood’s articles:

Preventing Unwanted Pregnancies

Given the significant stress that this kind of situation can bring, FX thinks that it is very important for people to be aware of how to prevent unwanted pregnancies. First it is important to be educated on how pregnancy occurs. Second, for sexually active teens, it is recommended to use condoms each and every time you have sex, as well as a back-up method of birth control, such as the pill or birth control shot. Your doctor will be able to recommend the best methods of birth control for you. Consider the following information:

It is also important to know about the Morning-After Pill (Emergency Contraception) in terms of preventing unwanted pregnancy. If you have unprotected sex, or your birth control method fails, you can use EC up to 120 hours after unprotected sex as a way to help prevent an unwanted pregnancy from occurring. Keep in mind that this is not an abortion pill and should not be used as a regular means of birth control. It is also more effective the sooner it is used after having unprotected sex.

 

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

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