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Restrictions on Young Women's Access to Abortion

Kansas law restricts young women's access to abortion.

Is the law enforceable?  Yes.

Who is considered a minor?  A young woman under the age of 18 who has never been married or freed by court order from the care, custody, and control of her parents.

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

Who must be notified?  Both parents.  If the parents are divorced or otherwise separated, the written consent of the parent with primary custody is sufficient.

Are there other trusted adults who may be notified instead?  No.

What is the process for providing notification?  A young woman under age 18 may not obtain an abortion until actual notice has been given by the attending physician to one parent unless the person entitled to notice provides written, notarized waiver of notice.

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman is a victim of rape or incest?  Yes, if the young woman declares that the "father" of the fetus is her parent or legal guardian.

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 the attending physician determines that a medical emergency exists, defined as a medical condition of the woman that necessitates an immediate abortion to preserve her life or for which a delay will create "serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function."

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 mature and well informed enough to make her own decision or that parental notice is not in her best interests.

Are there other significant requirements under the law?  A young woman may not obtain an abortion until after she receives counseling from a licensed physician, nurse, physician's assistant, clergy member, or qualified counselor while accompanied by a parent or an interested adult over 21 who is not associated with the abortion provider.  Such counseling may not be provided by a person assisting in or providing the procedure and must include:  (1) the alternatives available, including abortion and adoption; (2) agencies available to assist the young woman; and (3) the possibility of involving the young woman's parents or an adult family member in her decision-making.  This counseling requirement also may be waived if the physician determines that a medical emergency exists.

Has a court considered the constitutionality of this law?  No.

Other information about the law:  None.

Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 65-6701 (Original Statute Enacted 1992; Relevant Provision Enacted 1997; Last Amended 2011), -6704 (Enacted 1992), - 6705 (Enacted 1992; Last Amended 2011).

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