Judicial Bypass Wiki

Text Abby


Contact Info

(844) 997-2229

North Carolina has passed a 12 week abortion ban that is in effect as of July 1st, 2023. Providers in the state can perform abortions up to 12 weeks and after 12 weeks if the life or health of the pregnant person is at risk.

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

  • get counseling in person from an abortion provider (counseling may be available online depending on the clinic); 
  • wait 72 hours after getting counseling before they can have the abortion. 

All abortions must be performed by 12 weeks (the timing depends on the clinic) unless the patient’s life or health is in danger.      

In cases involving rape or incest, a provider can perform an abortion up to 20 weeks of pregnancy, up to 24 weeks in case of a severe medical condition, or beyond 24 weeks if 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 some states like North Carolina, 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 clinic staff if you have questions.


North Carolina 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 North Carolina, 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 North Carolina, the following people can consent to an abortion for someone under age 18:      

  • A parent who has legal custody of you
  • A parent you live with
  • Your {{ 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. }}
  • A grandparent who you have been living with for at least six months immediately before giving consent

In North Carolina, only your parents, legal guardian, or grandparent can consent to you having an abortion. Even if a 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 one of the above people 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.  

But if you do have a parent or guardian who will consent for you to have an abortion, they will have to go to the medical appointment with you.


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. Or you can reach out to Text Abby to get connected to a lawyer who will help you through the entire process. 

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. 


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

1. You can visit the website for the Carolina Abortion Fund here, which runs a text line called Text Abby. Text Abby supports young people who need to get a judicial waiver in North Carolina. 

If you contact Text Abby, let them know you are a young person who needs a judicial waiver. The advocates at Text Abby have the most up to date information and will connect you with an attorney for free. The attorney who will fill out all of the paperwork, file the petition, schedule the hearing, and represent you at the hearing.  

The text line is confidential, free, and available every day from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm ET. You can reach Text Abby by texting 844-997-2229 or you can find out more information here. If someone does not respond right away, please send a second text letting them know if and when they should respond.

2. You also have the option to start the judicial waiver process on your own. If this is what you would like to do, it is still best to start by contacting Text Abby, the advocates on the helpline can direct you to the right court and give you additional information about the process. 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 the {{clerk of court}{A clerk is someone who works for the court, they are the ones that usually accept forms and schedule meetings with the judge}}. You can find the petition here. After you fill it out, you turn it in to the clerk of court responsible for juvenile proceedings. 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.

  • This form is where you can tell the court that you want a lawyer for free.
  • This form is also where you tell the court that you do not want your parent or guardian to be told about the hearing.

You can fill out and turn in the form yourself. Or, if you have someone over the age of 18 that you want to help you, you can fill out another form and ask the court to make this person your {{ guardian ad litem}{A guardian ad litem is not the same as a lawyer. A lawyer is someone who is supposed to help you get the result you want from the court. A guardian ad litem on the other hand, is assigned by the court to tell them what they think is the best result for you. This might be different from what you want}}. You can find that form here

Once you turn in the application 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. If it is granted, you will have to go to the clerk of the court to get a {{certificate of waiver}{document you will take to the clinic with you, and you will be able to have an abortion without telling your parent or guardian}}.

3. 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 judicial bypass wiki page for that state to learn about its abortion restrictions, which could be very different from North Carolina.

The {{hearing}{ A hearing is a meeting with the 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}} to make this decision on your own, or if it’s in your {{ best interest}{ The judge thinks it would be better for you not to talk to your parents about having an abortion}} . 

If the judge makes a decision and agrees that you can get an abortion, you will get a document called an {{ order}{ An official paper that shows the judge’s decision. }} from the court. You will also get a paper called a Certificate Waiver of Parental Consent Requirement for Minor’s Abortion. 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 out the “Notice of Appeal” section on the back of the order the judge gave you. You have to do this within 24 hours (1 day) from the day the judge made their decision. You can find a link to what the order and appeal will look like here

The new court will schedule a time to meet with you as soon as possible, within 7 days of when you turn in the appeal form. After the second hearing, the judge has to make a decision within 48 hours (2 days). 

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. In South Carolina, you can get an abortion at age 17 without involving a parent. And in Washington, D.C., you can get an abortion at any age without telling a parent.

You can get a judicial bypass in a different state; if granted you would need to get the abortion in that same state.

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:


Carolina Abortion Fund




You can find a map of abortion clinics in North Carolina here. The clinics are also listed below.

A Hallmark Women’s Clinic
491 N Cleveland Avenue
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Planned Parenthood, Winston-Salem Health Center
3000 Maplewood Avenue #112
Winston-Salem, NC 27103

A Woman’s Choice of Greensboro
2425 Randleman Road
Greensboro, NC 27406

Planned Parenthood, Chapel Hill Health Center
1765 Dobbins Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

North Durham Women’s Health
400 Crutchfield Street
Durham, NC 27704

A Preferred Women’s Health Center
3220 Latrobe Drive
Charlotte, NC 28211

Planned Parenthood, Charlotte
700 S Torrence Street
Charlotte, NC 28204

A Woman’s Choice of Charlotte
421 N Wendover Road
Charlotte, NC 28211

A Preferred Women’s Health Center, Raleigh
1604 Jones Franklin Road
Raleigh, NC 27606

A Woman’s Choice of Raleigh
3305 Drake Circle
Raleigh, NC 27607

Family Reproductive Health
700 E Hebron Street
Charlotte, NC 28273

Planned Parenthood, Fayetteville Health Center
4551 Yadkin Road
Fayetteville, NC 28303

A Hallmark Women’s Clinic
1919 Gillespie Street
Fayetteville, NC 28306

Planned Parenthood, Asheville Health Center
68 McDowell Street
Asheville, NC 28801

Planned Parenthood, Wilmington Health Center
1925 Tradd Court
Wilmington, NC 28401

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




View All News Categorized Under “North Carolina”
Quick Exit Click this bar or hit ESC on your keyboard
What is this? Learn about safe browsing