The NYCLU is a public-interest law firm that principally addresses issues involving challenges to a government law, policy or practice affecting the constitutional rights – that is, the civil liberties and civil rights – of a significant number of people arising in New York State. Find out how to get help with such an issue.
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To order print copies of a publication on a reproductive rights topic, use the Reproductive Rights Project publication order form, available for download in PDF format. To order any other publication in print form, call 212.607.3300. Most publications are also available for download in PDF form.
Certain minors can consent to any type of health care on their own.
If a minor falls into one or more of the following categories, then he or she can consent to any and all medical treatment confidentially, without involving a parent:
Emancipated minors: minors who are living on their own and are financially independent of their parents
Many public school districts across New York State provide sex-ed instruction that is inaccurate, incomplete and biased, according to Birds, Bees and Bias: How Absent Sex Ed Standards Fail New York’s Students. This report examines sex-ed materials used during the 2009-2010 and 2010-11 school years from across New York State.
Among the NYCLU’s key findings:
Each year, thousands of teen parents' drop out - or are pushed out - of New York City schools. Studies have documented drop out rates for teen parents as high as 70 percent. All of these young people are legally entitled to a free public education - a support that provides a foundation for future success for both parents and their children.
The Reproductive Health Act:
Women make reproductive decisions — including abortion, adoption or having a child — for many different reasons. While people may disagree with some of those reasons, it is important that each woman be able to make the decision that is right for her, her circumstances and her family. The Reproductive Health Act will ensure that New York State continues to stand up for a woman’s ability to make her own private, personal decision.
Adolescents, more than members of any other age group, often do not get the health care they need. According to the American Medical Association, a major reason for this is that adolescents fear that health care providers will disclose confidential information about sensitive issues to their parents or guardians. In fact, the law allows teenagers to obtain medical treatment—including “sensitive” health care, such as reproductive health care—without their parents’ involvement or even knowledge in a variety of situations.
If you think you may be pregnant, you have the right to confidential pregnancy testing. No one can tell your parents or anyone else about the results unless you say it's okay. No one can force you to take a pregnancy test, an STD test, or an HIV/AIDS test without your permission.
New York laws about "statutory rape" and child abuse reporting are confusing. This list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) describes when to make a report to the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (the reporting hotline for child abuse and neglect) based on a minor's sexual activity.
If you're a pregnant or parenting teen you have the right to stay in school, the right to consent on your own to all health care for yourself and your child, and many other important rights and liberties.
This booklet is designed to help protect those rights.