Teenage pregnancy laws have aimed to involve minors who are considering an abortion to have their parent or parents' consent before doing so. According to research by Stanley K. Henshaw and Kathryn Kost, about 90 percent of pregnant minors under 15 voluntarily talk to a parent before getting an abortion. For the most part, however, older teens may fear talking to an adult due to the consequences that may include being kicked out of the house.
Depending on the situation, teen pregnancy laws, particularly those that require parental notice be given to the parent of a pregnant minor, can affect families in negative ways. A Guttmacher Institute report from 1999 reported data that suggested teens who live in states with parental notice laws are more likely to have second trimester abortions. Late-term abortions are more risky and therefore the influence that teenage pregnancy laws, such as parental notice, may have on a teen's health makes the current legislation a hotly contended issue. This is particularly true because of the lack of laws requiring parental notice of health care provided pregnancy tests, prenatal care or delivery services. A majority of states also allow a pregnant teen to place the child with an adoptive family without needing parental consent nor notice.
Teens who wish to waive the requirement to have their parent or parents notified of a pregnancy and abortion can go to court and request one.
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