Answers questions about abortion, birth control and pregnancy. Includes information about a teenager's right to an abortion and birth control. Also includes information about pregnancy discrimination at work.
Tips on Abortion, Contraception, and Pregnancy Rights in New York State
- If you are pregnant, you do NOT need the consent of your boyfriend, husband, or any other person to obtain an abortion.
- Abortion services are confidential. Information about your treatment, including your medical records, generally may not be disclosed to anybody without your consent.
- There is no required waiting period to get an abortion.
Rights of Minors Under Age 18
- If you are a minor under the age of 18, you do NOT need the permission of your parent or guardian to get an abortion, as long as you are able to give informed consent.
- In order to give informed consent for a health treatment, a patient (you) must understand the risks, benefits, and alternatives of the procedure or treatment, including the option not to have the treatment.
- Abortion services are confidential. A health care provider generally may not disclose medical records to your parent or guardian without your permission. Click here for more information.
- You may obtain contraceptive care and counseling, emergency contraception (“Plan B” or “the morning-after pill”), or pregnancy tests. Parental consent or parental notification are NOT required. Click here for more information.
- You are NOT necessarily entitled to confidentiality when you notify a teacher, administrator, social worker, or other school employee that you are pregnant.
- You may be entitled to financial assistance for your medical care needs. Click here for more information.
- If you are pregnant and enrolled in high school, you are entitled to stay in school and receive educational support. For more information, click here.
If you are considering an abortion, or if you think you need any other medical help, you should contact a health care provider as soon as possible. Click here for a list of resources that provide information on free or low-cost health care.
Rights of Pregnant Women in New York State
- If you are pregnant, an employer cannot refuse to hire you because of your pregnancy, because of a pregnancy-related condition or because of the prejudices of co-workers, clients, or customers.
- An employer may not single out pregnancy-related conditions for special procedures to determine your ability to work. If you are temporarily unable to perform your job due to pregnancy, the employer must treat you the same as any other temporarily disabled employee.
- If you are pregnant, you must be permitted to work as long as you are able to perform your job.
- Your employer must hold open a job for a pregnancy-related absence the same length of time jobs are held open for employees on sick or disability leave.
For more information on your employment rights during pregnancy, click here.
LawHelp/NY provides general information only. This is not legal advice. You can only obtain legal advice from a lawyer. To contact a lawyer, use LawHelp/NY's referral system. LawHelp/NY makes every effort to keep referral information, legal educational materials, and related forms up-to-date and in accordance with New York City, New York state and federal law. However, LawHelp/NY does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.
The information on this page is from the New York Civil Liberties Union, the New York Civil Liberties Union Teen Health Initiative, and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. However, these organizations have not reviewed this material and are not responsible for the information provided here.
Last Reviewed: April 19, 2009