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Pennsylvania

Restrictions on Young Women's Access to Abortion

Pennsylvania law restricts young women's access to abortion.

Is the law enforceable?  Yes.  The U.S. Supreme Court held that this law is constitutional. Planned Parenthood of S. E. Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992).

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?  Yes, but only if neither parent is available; then any adult person standing in loco parentis is sufficient.

What is the process for obtaining consent?  A young woman may not obtain an abortion unless the attending physician secures the "informed" consent of one parent.  If the young woman's pregnancy resulted from incest with her father, the mother's consent is sufficient.

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 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 capable of giving informed consent 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.

The U.S. Supreme Court held that this law is constitutional.  Planned Parenthood of S. E. Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992).

Other information about the law:  None.

18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 3206 (Enacted 1982; Last Amended 1992), 3203 (Enacted 1982; Last Amended 1989).

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