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We will use submissions to update our Frequently Asked Questions page that will address common concerns. While we can't reply to questions about your specific health concerns, your thoughts are important to us! Feedback is anonymous, so your thoughts are also confidential.
Have A Question?
If someone sexts me and I delete it, can I get in trouble?
If this happens, you wouldn't get in legal trouble if you did not know the picture or video would be sent to you. It is only a crime if you knowingly possess a sexually explicit picture or video. But it is possible that someone other than the police -- your parents, for example -- could find out and discipline you in some way.
If my boyfriend/girlfriend and I like to sext each other and trust each other, do the sexting laws apply to us?
Yes, they do. Sexting law in Pennsylvania applies to all teens under 18, regardless of the relationship.
Do I need my parent's permission to get tested for STDs? Where can I go for these tests?
You do not need to get your parent's permission to get tested for STDs. It is one of the services you can get on your own to make sure you're healthy. Visit our Find Help page to find a local clinic or healthcare center where you can get tested.
If I don’t need my parent's permission to get birth control, how can I get birth control from my doctor without my parents finding out?
Privacy can be an issue for teenagers who get health care through their parents' health insurance. Even if you make an appointment with your doctor by yourself, it's possible that the insurance company will send a statement to your parents showing the type of health services you got. Many clinics offer free birth control, and there are hotlines that can provide information about how to get confidential care. Visit the Find Help page to find a clinic in your area or a reproductive health hotline to call. They can also help you figure out the best birth control options.
If I don’t need my parent's permission to get birth control, do I need it for an abortion?
In Pennsylvania, yes. If you're under 18, you generally cannot have an abortion without the permission of a parent or guardian. If you want to get an abortion without parental consent, you can seek a court order through a process called "judicial bypass." The process is completely confidential. If this is something you want to do, it may be helpful to speak to someone at a reproductive health clinic or community legal services.
See our Find Help page to find out about nearby states that have less strict abortion laws than Pennsylvania. For instance, New York and New Jersey do not require young women under the age of 18 to get their parent's permission to get an abortion.
Do I need to notify the father or get his permission in order to have an abortion?
No! This applies even if the father is 18 and you're a minor. A woman of any age never needs to notify or get the consent of her boyfriend, sexual partner, or spouse to seek an abortion.
Who can I call if I know someone being abused in their relationship?
If I was sexually assaulted, am I required to be examined?
No. You have the right to refuse examination without explaining your reasons.
Is there a panic button to hide this website on my computer in case I don’t want someone to see me on it?
Yes, it's on the upper right corner of every page and takes you to the Google homepage. If you don't want other people who use this computer to see the websites you have visited, you will also need to erase your internet browser history.
Below are some of the questions that you may have about your health and sexting. The answers we provide are based on information throughout this website, and the list will be updated periodically as we hear your concerns about accessing health care.