Reproductive Health

Adolescent Health

Young people face unique challenges in obtaining and utilizing reproductive health services. The failure to offer comprehensive sexuality education in schools leaves teens without the information they need to make informed and healthy decisions about their sexuality. Parental consent laws prevent minors from obtaining confidential health services. And logistical issues make it more difficult for youth than for adults to find and access reproductive health care.

The National Partnership for Women & Families works to enable young people to grow into responsible and healthy adults. We believe strongly that teenagers deserve the information and tools to make informed decisions about their own sexuality. We are working to ensure that minors regardless of age, sexual orientation or gender identity — have access to the information they need to make good decisions. We advocate for comprehensive sexuality education programs and against abstinence — only until marriage programs; to give minors the tools they need to make decisions about sexuality, pregnancy, abortion and parenthood; and we oppose laws that interfere with young people’s rights and abilities to make decisions about their own bodies.

Judicial Bypass Project

The National Partnership provides information and advocates for minors’ access to contraception and abortion.

Between August 2008 and June 2010, the National Partnership examined young women’s access to abortion in the 36 states where they were required to involve parents or (in 34 states) secure a judge’s permission to decide for themselves. We interviewed 155 clinical and legal professionals and convened three meetings — two addressing important, discrete issues on the bypass, and the third a national meeting that drew experts from across the country. In addition, we called courthouses staff across three states to gauge the level of knowledge about the bypass (and access to it) outside of urban areas. More »


Legal Guides for Pregnant and Parenting Minors

The Partnership is spearheading an initiative to develop state-specific practical guides to inform pregnant and parenting minors and their families of their legal rights and resources.

The first guides were written by the School of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Using that model, with permission from UNC Chapel Hill, Florida attorneys developed a minors’/families’ guide for Florida. The National Partnership is also preparing a guide for California and would welcome the opportunity to produce a similar guide for your state. Read the guides »