Background

Over the past 30 years, states have expanded minors’ authority to consent to health care, including care related to sexual activity. The great majority of states and the District of Columbia currently allow a minor to obtain confidential prenatal care, including regular medical visits and routine services for labor and delivery. Some of these states, however, allow physicians to inform parents that their minor daughter is seeking or receiving services when they deem it in the best interests of the minor. In states that lack relevant policy or case law, physicians may commonly provide medical care to a mature minor without parental consent, particularly if the state allows minors to consent to related health services.

Highlights

Minors' Access to Prenatal Care

STATE

MINOR MAY CONSENT

NO EXPLICIT POLICY

 

Under Law Specific to Prenatal Care

Requires Parental Consent for Most of a Minor's Prenatal Care During the 2nd and 3rd Trimesters, Minor May Consent to Care During the 1st Trimester and for the First Visit After the 1st Trimester

Physician May Inform Parents

Alabama

X

 

 

 

Alaska

X

 

 

 

Arizona

 

 

 

X

Arkansas

X

 

 

 

California

X

 

 

 

Colorado

X

 

 

  

Connecticut

 

 

 

X*

Delaware

12 years

 

X

 

Dist. of Columbia

X

 

 

 

Florida

X

 

 

 

Georgia

X

 

 

 

Hawaii

14 years

 

X

 

Idaho

X†​

 

 

 

Illinois

X†​

 

 

 

Indiana

 

 

 

X*

Iowa

 

 

 

X*

Kansas

Mature minor

 

 

 

Kentucky

X

 

X

 

Louisiana

 

 

 

X*

Maine

 

X

 

Maryland

X

 

X

 

Massachusetts

X‡​

 

 

 

Michigan

X

 

X

 

Minnesota

X

 

X

 

Mississippi

X

 

 

 

Missouri

X

 

X

 

Montana

X

 

X

 

Nebraska

 

 

 

X

Nevada

Mature minor or married minor

 

 

 

New Hampshire

Mature minor†​

 

 

 

New Jersey

X

 

X

 

New Mexico

X

 

 

 

New York

X

 

 

 

North Carolina

X

 

X

 

North Dakota

 

X

X

 

Ohio

 

 

 

X

Oklahoma

X

 

X

 

Oregon

15 years†​

 

X

 

Pennsylvania

X

 

 

 

Rhode Island

 

 

 

X

South Carolina

16 years†​ or mature minor

 

 

 

South Dakota

 

 

 

X*

Tennessee

X

 

 

 

Texas

X

 

X

 

Utah

X

 

 

 

Vermont

 

 

 

X*

Virginia

X

 

 

 

Washington

X

 

 

 

West Virginia

Mature minor*

 

 

 

Wisconsin

 

 

 

X

Wyoming

 

 

 

X*

TOTAL

37  + DC

1

15

12

*    State does not have a policy explicitly allowing unmarried minors to consent to prenatal care; the state does have a general law that gives married minors the same rights as adults. In West Virginia the married minors law only applies to minors at least 16 years old.
     State policy does not specifically address prenatal care but applies to medical care in general.
    Parent must be notified if the minor's life or health is at risk.