You can: Get a confidential pregnancy test.
If you think you might be pregnant, the first step is to take a pregnancy test. In Pennsylvania, you can consent to a pregnancy test by yourself, and the results are confidential. Doctors may not share the results with your parents or guardians unless you want them to.
You can also buy a home pregnancy test at most drug stores. There are no age restrictions and no ID or prescription is required.
If you think you might be pregnant, it's important to get a pregnancy test. If you are pregnant, there are a lot of things to consider.
You have the options of abortion, adoption, or parenting.
The CHOICE hotlines and textlines are a great way to learn more about all of your options.
Making a decision may not be easy and may require a lot of support and help. Knowing your rights can help you make that decision.
You can: Make decisions about your pregnancy and your child's health care.
If you choose to become a parent, you do not need a parent or guardian’s permission to receive medical and health services during your pregnancy, including all prenatal care. Anyone under the age of 18 who has ever been pregnant can consent to all health care services (except for abortion) on their own. Information about your care should be kept private and should not be shared with your parent or guardian without your permission.
Once your baby is born, you do not need a parent or guardian’s permission to get health care services for your child. You have the right to get care for your child and to receive information about your child’s medical care.
You can: Get a free lawyer to help you get an abortion on your own by “judicial bypass.”
If you are under 18 and want to have an abortion but do not want to tell your parent or guardian or ask for their permission, or if your parent or guardian has refused to allow you to have an abortion, you can get a free, court-appointed lawyer to help you seek a “judicial bypass.”
The entire judicial bypass process is fast and is kept private. Your parent or guardian will not be told that you are trying to get an abortion without their permission.
If you pursue a judicial bypass, the court will appoint a lawyer to represent you. Your lawyer can talk to you about the process and your options. The Women's Law Project has a helpful guide that explains the process, too.
You can: Travel to another state to have an abortion.
Some nearby states have abortion laws that aren't as strict than Pennsylvania'a laws.
Some do not require you to get a parent or guardian's permission to have an abortion if you are under 18, including New Jersey, New York, and Washington, DC. Some states also do not make you wait 24 hours before having an abortion. You can visit the Find Help page to find out about different abortion laws in nearby states.
You usually need: A parent or guardian's permission to have an abortion.
In Pennsylvania, you need the permission (legal consent) of a parent or guardian to get an abortion if you are under 18, unless you are an emancipated minor* or get a “judicial bypass.”
A “judicial bypass” is a court order that allows you to have an abortion without the permission (or notification) of your parent or guardian.
* See the definition of emancipated monor on the Your Rights page
You never need: The permission of your partner (sexual partner, boyfriend,
spouse, etc.) to have an abortion.
No matter what age you are, you never need to tell or get permission from your spouse or sexual partner to have an abortion.
You can: Place your child for adoption without getting your parent or guardian’s permission.
If you choose to continue your pregnancy and want to place your child for adoption, you do not need your parent or guardian’s permission to do so. But if you place your child for adoption, you will have a hearing where your parental rights are terminated, and your parent or guardian will be told about the hearing. For more information about adoption, you can call the CHOICE hotline at 1-800-84-TEENS or visit the Juvenile Law Center website.