If I get a pregnancy test, will my parents be notified?
It’s your right to get a confidential pregnancy test. This means you can have a test and get the results without anyone else finding out. But if you use your parent’s or your partner’s health insurance to pay for the test, you should submit a Confidential Communications Request to make sure the insurance company keeps this information private.
If I’m pregnant, what can I do?
You can stay pregnant and become a parent, place the baby for adoption, or end the pregnancy by having an abortion. The earlier you know that you’re pregnant, the more choices you have, so you should take a pregnancy test right away. If you need support in making a decision about your pregnancy, or are unsure of how to pay for care, there are resources that can help – no matter what your decision.
Can I keep the pregnancy if I want to?
Yes. It’s your right to stay pregnant if you want to, even if you’re under 18 or not married. No one can force you to have an abortion or place the baby for adoption. If you decide to give birth, you will need medical care while you’re pregnant and after you have the baby. Prenatal care, childbirth, and maternity care are considered essential health benefits, which means that most private insurance plans must cover them. Check your policy or call your insurance company to make sure you’re covered. California also has free or low-cost programs that can help you pay for the care you need if you can’t afford it.
What kind of support is available if I decide to give birth?
You deserve support from someone who cares about you, like a parent, counselor, or friend. There are pregnancy and parenting classes designed specifically for young people. Find your local Women Infant Children (WIC) program by calling 888-942-9675 or using the online search feature here – https://m.wic.ca.gov/. Some hospitals have birth doulas, or volunteers who can help you through labor and delivery.
Can I get an abortion if that’s what I want?
Abortion is legal in California, both for teens and adults. You have the right to get an abortion for any reason until approximately 6 months after you become pregnant. After that, if the pregnancy puts your health or life at risk you can still get an abortion. Most health insurance covers abortion and there are programs to help pay for the cost of the procedure if you don’t have coverage. Visit www.accesswhj.org or www.yourbackline.org for more information.