Judicial Bypass Wiki

Indiana Judicial Bypass Project

https://www.indianajbproject.org/

Contact Info

(317) 476-6917

Indiana’s abortion ban will be in effect starting 9/15/22. Once in effect, doctors will not be able to perform abortions in Indiana unless the pregnant person’s life or health is at risk. Contact our helpline if you have any questions about the law and your rights.

No matter their age, every person in Indiana has the legal right to get an abortion. But the state restricts abortions in some ways. In Indiana, every person who wants or needs to have an abortion must: 

  • get counseling in person at a clinic;
  • have an {{ultrasound}{An ultrasound is a test they will do at the abortion clinic to confirm that you are pregnant and figure out how many weeks pregnant you are}} before the abortion (unless they sign a form saying they do not want to view and listen to the ultrasound); and
  • wait 18 hours after getting counseling before they can have the abortion.

All abortions must be performed before 20 weeks unless the pregnant person’s life or health is in danger. 

All abortion providers give some counseling to make sure you understand the medical process. But in Indiana, the law makes abortion providers offer you certain written materials about abortion that may be misleading or completely wrong. You don’t have to take these materials or read them if you don’t want to, but if you do read them and have questions, you can connect with other young people who have had an abortion to hear about their experiences here. You can also learn more about abortion procedures, how people may feel afterward, and learn about free, confidential, phone-based counseling services here. You can also talk to staff at the clinic if you have questions.

Indiana makes people under age 18 get written permission from a parent or guardian before getting an abortion. That written permission is called consent. If you feel safe and want to involve a parent in your decision to have an abortion, one option is to talk to them about whether they will give you permission to get an abortion. In Indiana, you need consent from only one parent or guardian.

If you cannot or do not want to tell your parent or guardian, or if they will not consent, you can go to court and ask a judge to allow you to get an abortion. This is called a judicial bypass.  

If you are married or an {{emancipated}{An emancipated minor went through a legal process and has court order stating that they are freed from their parents and are legally an adult}} minor, you can get an abortion without consent from a parent or a judicial bypass. 

In Indiana, only your parent, {{legal guardian}{A legal guardian has a court order stating that they have the legal authority and duty to care for a minor. This is different from a foster parent}}, or {{custodian}{A custodian has a court order stating that they have temporary or permanent custody of you. This is different from a foster parent}} can consent to you having an abortion. 

Even if another supportive adult or foster parent supports your decision, they cannot give consent for you to have an abortion. This means that you will either need to ask your legal parent for their consent, or you can ask a supportive adult to help you get a judicial bypass.

If your parent, {{legal guardian}{A legal guardian has a court order stating that they have the legal authority and duty to care for a minor. This is different from a foster parent}}, or {{custodian}{A custodian has a court order stating that they have temporary or permanent custody of you. This is different from a foster parent}} gives you permission, they must make a written statement that gives you permission to have the abortion. They also must have government-issued identification—a passport, state-issued driver’s license, or state-issued ID card—and bring other documents, like your birth certificate or {{court orders}{An official document given to your legal guardian or custodian that gives them guardianship over you}}, to prove that they are who they say they are.

Starting July 1, 2021, Indiana requires parental consent to be {{notarized}{Notarized means that a document was certified as true by an official with a special license called a notary public}}. Ask your clinic about the process. There may be someone at the clinic who can notarize the consent statement for you. Your parent or guardian will need to have state-issued ID to get the statement notarized.

Not everyone can tell their parent about their decision to have an abortion. If you cannot or choose not to talk to your parent, there is another option called a judicial bypass. A judicial bypass means asking a judge to allow you to get an abortion without telling your parent. 

This is a legal process that a lawyer can help you with. You do not need a lawyer, but you can have a lawyer for free if you want one. All you need to do is ask the court for one. 

Your lawyer’s job is to represent you in court. That means they are there to help you ask for what you want. Even if the lawyer was given to you by the court, it is your lawyer’s job to help you ask the court for what you want. 

The next section explains how to ask the court for a lawyer. 

Indiana is one of the states that has a dedicated group of advocates working to help young people who need a judicial bypass. 

  1. You can visit the website for the Indiana Judicial Bypass Project here. The Indiana Judicial Bypass Project runs a hotline to help young people through the judicial bypass process. You can reach the hotline at 317-476-6917.

This free service connects you with a lawyer who will represent you in your judicial bypass case for free. Once you call the Indiana Judicial Bypass Project hotline, they will find a lawyer for you. The lawyer will then call you within 1-2 days to talk about your case. Your lawyer will take care of the steps in the judicial bypass process, including filing the {{petition}{A petition is a form you fill in with information that tells the court what you are asking for}}, scheduling a {{hearing}{A hearing is a meeting with the judge}} with a judge, and representing you at the hearing.

  1. You also have the option to start the judicial waiver process on your own. You should be aware that Indiana does not make several important forms available online. For that reason, it is best to contact the Indiana Judicial Bypass Project or an abortion clinic to ask for help. 

If you already know which clinic you would like to go to, start by contacting them to make an appointment for an {{ultrasound}{An ultrasound is a test they will do at the abortion clinic to confirm that you are pregnant and figure out how many weeks pregnant you are}} before the abortion (unless they sign a form saying they do not want to view and listen to the ultrasound}}. You have to do this before you can have an abortion, and you do not need permission from a parent to get an ultrasound.

When you call the clinic, tell them that you are a minor and need help with a judicial bypass. Clinics can also tell you more about the process and answer your questions. If you do not know which clinic you want to go to, you can find a list of clinics here. You can also visit the Planned Parenthood website to find a clinic near you by clicking here

  1. In Indiana, it is possible that your doctor may ask for a judicial bypass for you if they believe that getting consent from your parent would be bad for you. If your doctor does not ask for a judicial bypass for you, you will need to fill out a petition asking for a judicial bypass. The process is free. If you have questions about filling out the petition, you can call the clinic or the {{court clerk}{A clerk is someone who works for the court, they are the ones that usually accept forms and schedule meetings with the judge}} to ask for help. 

After you fill out the petition, you turn it in to the court clerk responsible for juvenile cases in the county where you live or in the county where you will have the abortion. To find courts in your area, you can look here

Once you turn in your petition, the judge has 48 hours (2 days) to schedule a hearing and make a decision. It is important to talk to your lawyer before the hearing because they will have a lot of useful information and advice for you about talking to the judge.

At the {{hearing}{a hearing is a meeting with a judge}}, the judge will ask you questions. Since every judge is different, we cannot know exactly what a judge will ask you. 

Judges can ask your age, whether you have had a job, if you have lived away from your parents, if you have traveled by yourself, if you have your own money and know what a budget is, and whether you have made other big decisions in your life. The judge might also ask what has happened since you found out you were pregnant, what you think will happen if you don’t have an abortion, and what you did to decide you wanted or needed an abortion. The judge might ask you why you want or need an abortion.  

You can find a list of questions that a judge might ask here. A judge might also ask questions that are not listed here, but it is a good idea to start thinking about what your answers are to these questions so you are ready if the judge asks. Your lawyer can help you with this. 

After the hearing, the judge makes a decision about whether you can have an abortion without telling your parent. If you do not go to court to talk to the judge at the time you are scheduled to be there, the judge could automatically decide that you cannot get an abortion without getting consent from your parent. 

If you think you cannot make it to the hearing, but still want the judicial bypass, you can ask for a different time to talk to the judge. If you have a lawyer, ask your lawyer about changing the time. If you don’t have a lawyer, call the court and tell them you have a time scheduled to talk to the judge but need a {{different time}{The person who you speak with at the court might call this a continuance}}.

After the {{hearing}{a hearing is a meeting with a judge}}, the judge will decide two main questions.

First, the judge decides if they think you are {{mature and well-informed}{the judge thinks you can make the decision to get an abortion without talking to your parent first}} enough to make this decision on your own

Second, the judge decides if it’s in your {{best interest}{the judge thinks it would be better for you not to talk to your parent/s}} to have an abortion

The judge usually makes a decision right away. But if they do not, the judge has 48 hours (2 days) to give you a decision. 

If the judge decides that you are mature and well-informed enough to make your own decision or that it is in your best interest to have the abortion without involving a parent, you will get an {{order}{An official paper that show’s the judge’s decision}} from the court saying that you have permission to have the abortion.

But if the judge decides that it would not go against your best interest to tell your parent about your plan to get an abortion, the court will tell your parent.  In other words, you will still get an {{order}{An official paper that show’s the judge’s decision}} from the court saying that you do not need permission from your parent to get an abortion, but your parent will be told that you are planning to get an abortion. There is more information about when your parent may be told about your judicial bypass in the next section.

If you do not want a parent to be involved at all in your decision to have an abortion, you can also consider getting an abortion in a state that does not have parental involvement laws or getting a judicial bypass in a different state (and also get an abortion in that same state). To learn more, visit the homepage on the judicial bypass wiki to see what the law is in different states.

In some cases, the court may tell your parent that you plan to get an abortion, even if the court gives you an {{order}{An official paper that show’s the judge’s decision}} that says you do not need to get permission from your parent to have the abortion.

Your parent will be told about your plan to get an abortion if the court decides that it will not be against your best interest to tell your parent, even if the court says you do not need a parent’s permission to get an abortion.

Example: Jane sends in a {{petition}{A petition is a form you fill in with information that tells the court what you are asking for}} asking for judicial bypass. At the {{hearing}{A hearing is a meeting with the judge}}, she answers questions about her maturity and tells the judge why she knows having an abortion is the right decision for her. The judge agrees that Jane is mature and well-informed enough to make the decision on her own and gives her permission to have the abortion. But the judge does not think it would go against Jane’s best interests to tell her parent. In this case, Jane has permission from the court to get an abortion, but Jane’s parent will still be told that she plans to have an abortion before she gets the procedure. 

If the court does decide that it is in your best interest to not involve your parent, your parent will not be told about your plan to get an abortion. 

When you send in your petition asking for a judicial bypass, your parent will not be told about the hearing. The information from your judicial bypass hearing will be kept confidential. 

No, if you are granted a judicial bypass that means you can get an abortion if you want. It does not mean you are required to and you can always change your mind. The court {{order}{official paper to give to the clinic to show them that you have a judicial bypass}} just means you can make the decision about whether you want or need an abortion without involving your parent/guardian.

If the judge says you cannot get an abortion without your parent’s permission, you can {{appeal}{An appeal is what happens when you do not agree with the judge’s decision and want to try and challenge that decision in court}} the decision. You can also appeal the decision if the judge has given you permission to have an abortion, but says that your parent must be told about your plan to have an abortion. 

So even if the judge tells you no or says that your parent must be told that you plan to have an abortion, you can ask another court with different judges to make a different decision. 

If you had a lawyer for the {{hearing}{a hearing is a meeting with a judge}}, they can talk to you about the appeal and help you understand what you need to do next. If you did not have a lawyer for the hearing, you will need to ask the court to give you a lawyer for the appeal.

The form you need to fill out to appeal is available here. You have 10 days to appeal, but should fill out the appeal form as soon as possible. 

You do not have to pay any money to get a judicial bypass. You may be able to get help paying for your abortion. Your clinic may be able to help you cover the cost of your abortion with help from an abortion fund:

 

Hoosier Abortion Fund

Call or Text the fund at 812-727-4423

You can find a map of abortion clinics in Indiana here.

Planned Parenthood – Bloomington Health Center

421 S College Ave.

Bloomington, IN 47403

 

Clinic for Women

3607 West 16th St., Suite B-2 

Indianapolis, IN. 46222

 

Planned Parenthood – Georgetown Health Center

8590 Georgetown Rd.

Indianapolis, IN 46268

 

Women’s Med

1201 N. Arlington Ave.

Indianapolis, IN 46219

 

Planned Parenthood – Lafayette Health Center

964 Mezzanine Dr.

Lafayette, IN 47905

 

Planned Parenthood – Merrillville Health Center

8645 Connecticut St.

Merrillville, IN 46410

 

Whole Woman’s Health of South Bend

3511 Lincoln Way West

South Bend, IN 46628

 

Some clinics may have limited service or hours

You can also use these directories to find an abortion clinic near you:

Planned Parenthood: Directory Here (make sure you select abortion in the services drop down menu; some clinics provide counseling, referrals and follow-up exams but don’t directly provide abortion services) 

National Abortion Federation: Directory Here 

Abortion Care Network: Directory Here 

I Need An Abortion: Directory Here

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