Understanding Minors’ Legal Access to Sexual Health Services

Photograph of a young woman in a hospital gown waiting for a doctor.

When it comes to helping youth understand their medical rights related to sexual health, online resources can be a critical source of up-to-date information.

The Guttmacher Institute website includes monthly policy updates on state actions affecting minors’ access to sexual and reproductive health services. Youth workers can see where their state stands on a variety of issues such as contraceptive services and prenatal care for minors by accessing “State Policies in Brief: An Overview of Minors’ Consent Law” (PDF, 221 KB). This information is also broken out into individual guides available on the State Policies in Brief page.

Sex, Etc., a website providing comprehensive sex ed information geared toward young people, offers a more youth-friendly resource called “Sex in the States”. Youth can click on the interactive map to learn their state’s laws and policies on topics ranging from HIV/AIDS testing to age of consent for sex and from sexting to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.

Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth, the Family and Youth Services Bureau, or the Administration for Children and Families.

9-5 pm Eastern