Mandatory parental involvement/judicial bypass laws: do they promote adolescents' health?

J Adolesc Health. 1991 Mar;12(2):143-7. doi: 10.1016/0197-0070(91)90457-w.


Laws mandating parental involvement in the abortion decisions of pregnant adolescents exist in contrast to "medical emancipation" laws permitting competent minors to consent to their own care. Mandatory parental involvement laws have been the subject of extensive litigation. The Constitution of the United States requires states mandating parental consent or notification to offer the option of a "judicial bypass." In court proceedings, mature minors must be permitted to make their own decisions. Parental involvement/judicial bypass laws, when implemented, have failed to promote family consultation and have had adverse consequences for the pregnant adolescents they affect. States are permitted but not required by the federal Constitution to enact parental involvement/judicial bypass laws. Courts have prevented some of these laws from taking effect based on privacy guarantees in state constitutions. A few states have enacted alternative laws to ensure careful decision making and appropriate family or adult guidance and support.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Legal*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Government Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Judicial Role*
  • Minors*
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parental Consent*
  • Parental Notification*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Social Support
  • Supreme Court Decisions
  • United States