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Michigan

Restrictions on Young Women's Access to Abortion

Michigan law restricts young women's access to abortion.

Is the law enforceable?  Yes.  A state trial court held that this law is constitutional.  Planned Parenthood of Mid-Michigan, Inc. v. Attorney General, No. D 91-0571 AZ (Mich. Cir. Ct., Kalamazoo Cty. Apr. 29, 1994).

Who is considered a minor?  A young woman under the age of 18 who is not emancipated.

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 unless the attending physician secures 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.  A medical emergency is defined as a medical condition that necessitates an immediate abortion to preserve the woman's 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 sufficiently mature and well informed to make her own decision or that the waiver of parental consent is in her best interests.

Are there other significant requirements under the law?  If in the course of the judicial bypass procedure, the minor reveals to the judge that her pregnancy may be the result of sexual abuse, the judge must:  (1) report the suspected sexual abuse to the department of social services or a law-enforcement agency; and (2) inform the young woman of laws designed to protect her.

Has a court considered the constitutionality of this law?  Yes.  A court has rejected constitutional challenges to specific provisions of this law.  Planned Parenthood of Mid-Michigan, Inc. v. Attorney General, No. D 91-0571 AZ (Mich. Cir. Ct., Kalamazoo Cty. Apr. 29, 1994).

Other information about the law:  The Michigan attorney general issued an opinion stating that this minors' access law applies to the use of mifepristone because the law defines abortion as including the use of a drug to terminate a pregnancy.  Mich. Op. Att'y Gen. No. 7077 (Mar. 13, 2001).

Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §§ 722.901, .903, .904, .906 to .908 (Enacted 1990), §§ 722.902, .905 (Enacted 1990; Last Amended 1992).

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