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California

Restrictions on Young Women's Access to Abortion

California law restricts young women's access to abortion.

Is the law enforceable?  No.  A state court held that this law is unconstitutional and unenforceable because requiring parental consent or judicial authorization violates, without adequate justification, the explicit right of privacy set forth in the California Constitution.  Am. Acad. of Pediatrics v. Lungren, 940 P.2d 797 (Cal. 1997).

Who is considered a minor?  A young woman under the age of 18.

What is required - parental consent or parental notice?  Consent.

Who must provide consent?  One parent.

Are there other trusted adults who may provide consent instead?  No.

What is the process for obtaining consent?  A young woman may not obtain an abortion without the written consent of one parent.

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman is a victim of rape or incest?  No.

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman is a victim of child abuse?  No.

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman's health is threatened?  Yes, but only if a medical emergency exists requiring immediate medical action.

May the parental mandate be waived under any other circumstances?  Yes, the young woman may try to obtain permission from a judge.

If a young woman must obtain permission from a judge, what is the process?  She must secure a court order stating either that she is sufficiently mature and sufficiently informed to make her own decision or that an abortion is in her best interests.

Are there other significant requirements under the law?  No.

Has a court considered the constitutionality of this law?  Yes.  A court held that California's parental consent law is unconstitutional under the state constitution and has issued a permanent injunction prohibiting its enforcement.  Am. Acad. of Pediatrics v. Lungren, 940 P.2d 797 (Cal. 1997).

Other information about the law:  None.

Cal. Health & Safety Code § 123450 (Enacted 1995); Cal. Fam. Code § 6500 (Enacted 1992).


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