Judicial Bypass Wiki

Nebraska has passed a 12 week abortion ban. It takes effect immediately. Doctors in the state are able to provide abortions up to 12 weeks of pregnancy

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

  • get counseling in person from an abortion provider;
  • wait 24 hours after you get counseling before you can get the abortion

All abortions must be performed by 12 weeks unless the patient’s life or health is in danger.

All abortion providers give some counseling to make sure you understand the medical process. But in some states like Nebraska, 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 the staff at the clinic if you have questions.

Nebraska makes people under age 18 get written permission from a parent or {{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}} 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 Nebraska, you need consent from only one parent or guardian.

If you cannot or do not want to involve 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 waiver.

If you are married or an {{emancipated minor}{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}}, you can get an abortion without involving a parent or getting a judicial waiver.

In Nebraska, the following people can consent to an abortion for someone under age 18:

  • A parent
  • A {{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}}

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 or guardian for their consent, or you can ask a supportive adult to help you get a judicial bypass. But you do not need to involve any adult in the process if you do not want to.

If your parent gives you permission, they have to sign a letter saying so. The letter must also be notarized. This means the letter must be signed in front of a person with a special license called a notary public. To get the letter notarized, your parent will need a valid form of identification, like a state-issued identification card, state-issued driver’s license, or passport. You can also ask the clinic if they have a letter that your parent can use, and if they have someone at the clinic who can notarize the letter.

Not everyone can involve their parent or guardian in their decision to have an abortion. If you cannot or do not want to involve your parent, or if no one on the above list will give you consent, there is another option called a judicial waiver. A judicial waiver means asking a judge to allow you to get an abortion without involving your parent or guardian.

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.


  1. You can visit the website for the ACLU of Nebraska here. ACLU-NE has a page that provides more detailed information about the judicial bypass process and they can also help connect you to a lawyer that can help represent you in your judicial bypass case for free. The lawyer request form is available here.
  2. If you already know which clinic you would like to go to, you can call them and say you are a minor who needs help with a judicial waiver. A lot of clinics can 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 will have to send in a {{petition}{a petition is a form you fill in with information that tells the court what you are asking for}} to a district court. You can find the petition here and instructions here. You don’t have to use your real name on the petition, you can use a made up name or just go by your initials.

After you fill it out, you turn it into the court by mail, through fax, or in person. You can send it to any district court, it doesn’t have to be the district court in the county where you live. To find courts in your area, you can look here. Click on a district to see the {{Court Clerk}{a clerk is someone who works for the court, they are the ones that usually accept forms and schedules meetings with judge}}  tab, this tells you where you can send in your petition and how you can contact a clerk if you have questions.

Once you turn in the petition for a judicial waiver, the judge has 7 days to schedule a {{hearing}{A hearing is a meeting with the judge}} and make a decision. The judge may also make the decision the same day as the hearing. If the judge doesn’t schedule the hearing or make a decision within those 7 days, it is important to contact a lawyer to help you get a decision from the judge. If you need to be connected to a lawyer you can contact the ACLU of Nebraska through the contact form linked here. You can also contact the Repro Legal Helpline through the page linked here.

If the judge grants your waiver, the court will give you a {{written order}{official paper that shows the judge’s decision}} to take to the clinic with you, and it means you will be able to have an abortion without telling your parent or guardian.

  1. You also can go to a clinic outside of the state where you live. If that is the decision you make, please go to the page for that state to learn about its abortion restrictions, which could be very different from Nebraska.

The {{hearing}{a hearing is a meeting with a judge}} will happen in an office or in a {{closed courtroom}{A closed courtroom means that no one will be allowed in other than you, your attorney, the judge, and a clerk}}. The judge will ask you questions to learn more about you. Since every judge is different, we cannot know exactly what they will ask you, but the judge is trying to decide whether you seem mature enough to make the decision to have an abortion without involving a parent.

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, what plans you have for the future, 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 a 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 waiver, 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 at the court who you speak with might call this a continuance}}.

After the {{hearing}{a hearing is a meeting with a judge}}, the judge decides whether 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, or if it’s in your {{best interest}{judge thinks it would be better for you not to talk to your parents}} not to tell your parent.

If the judge makes a decision and agrees that you can get an abortion, you will get an {{order from the court}{official paper that shows the judge’s decision}} from the court. This is what you will need to take to the clinic to show that you have permission from the court to get an abortion. To protect your privacy, you can ask court/attorney to send a copy of the court order directly to the clinic for you. 

No. The judicial waiver is confidential, which means that no one outside of the court will be told about it. When you send in your application to get a waiver, you can ask that your parent or guardian not be told about the {{hearing}{a hearing is a meeting with a judge}}.

No, if you are granted a judicial waiver 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 waiver}} 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. So even if the judge tells you no, 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.

If you want to appeal the judge’s decision, you have to fill a “Parent Consent Notice of Appeal” form as soon as you can.  You can find that form here. Once you turn in the appeal form, the clerk has to process it within 4 days (not including weekends or holidays).

The new court will schedule a time to meet with you and make a decision within 7 days of when the appeal form is processed.

You may also decide to get an abortion from a different state that does not have a law that requires you to involve your parent. Please visit the judicial bypass wiki page for that state to learn more.

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 through an abortion fund.

You can also contact an abortion fund directly to learn more:

Abortion Access Fund – Bellevue, NE



You can find a map of these abortion clinics in Nebraska here.

Lincoln South Health Center

5631 S. 48th Street Lincoln, NE 68516


Northwest Health Center

3105 N. 93rd St Omaha, NE 68134


CARE- Clinics for Abortion and Reproductive Excellence – Bellevue

1002 West Mission Ave., Bellevue, NE 68005

(402) 291-4797


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) 

National Abortion Federation: Directory Here 

Abortion Care Network: Directory Here 

I Need An Abortion: Directory Here

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