About the JB Wiki/Frequently Asked Questions
We are updating this resource daily. Please use our state-by-state map and contact us at [email protected] if you have new or additional information to offer about young people’s access to abortion in your state.
Right now, there are thirty-six states in the U.S. with laws that require someone under 18 (in some cases under 17, 16, or 15) to involve a parent or legal guardian in their decision to have an abortion. Involvement can mean requiring that someone under 18 (often referred to as a legal minor) tell their parent about the abortion, or get their parent’s permission to have an abortion. These are known as parental involvement laws.
Not everyone can or wants to involve a parent in their abortion decision. If you cannot or do not want to involve your parent or guardian, or if they will not give you permission, you can go to court and ask a judge to allow you to get an abortion without having to involve your parent or guardian.
If you cannot or do not want to involve a parent in your abortion, another option is a judicial bypass (sometimes called a judicial waiver).
A judicial bypass means asking a judge to give you permission to get an abortion without involving a parent or legal guardian. This usually involves going to a court to fill out out forms before setting up a meeting to talk to the judge.
If you get a judicial bypass from court, you do not need to tell or get permission from your parent before getting an abortion.
The goal of the JB Wiki is to make legal information more accessible to young people and their supporters and advocates, and to connect the many networks and resources across the country that exist to support young people accessing abortion care. To learn more about the law in your state, please browse the map on the main page and select your state to read more.
Information and resources evolve over time and so will the JB Wiki. We will continue to build on the information provided and update resources until forced parental involvement laws and judicial bypass processes are gone for good.
If you would like us add any information or resources for a particular state, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].
This page is owned and operated by If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, and is edited exclusively by advocates for young people’s access to abortion care. Editing on this site is not open to the general public.
If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice is a national network of lawyers, law students, and advocates that believes young people deserve access to quality, confidential abortion care — without having to jump through hoops or face barriers. Forced parental involvement laws prevent people, who are under age 18, from getting that care. The judicial bypass process does not get rid of the barriers created by forced parental involvement and is itself a barrier that prevents access to abortion care.
However, as long as these barriers exist, it is essential that young people have access to clear, up-to-date information about the law and processes that impact them. We believe that information is power and so we share information about parental involvement laws and judicial bypass on this wiki so young people know the law in their state. We also operate a legal helpline (the JB helpline) that answers questions about judicial bypass and connects young people to advocates in their state that can help them navigate the process.