Michigan pregnant teens want to know their rights regarding their privacy when they are faced with the decision of whether to have an abortion. The answer to the question of whether a pregnant minor can take care of their situation without involving their parent depends on whether they can get a waiver from the court.
In 1990, Michigan decided that the teen’s right to privacy was not tantamount to their parent’s right to know and decide. The Parental Rights Restoration Act, found at MCL 722.903, has the effect of requiring the teen to tell their parent and get that parent to consent to the abortion, in writing. If the parent will not cooperate with the teen’s desires, or if she doesn’t want her parent to be involved, then she has to petition the probate court to provide a waiver (“bypass”) of the requirement.
The teenager who is making the best decision for themselves, will be one who has made an informed decision. They will have sought the services of a family planning center that can educate them on what to expect whether they move forward with having the child, giving it up for adoption, or terminating the pregnancy. They will ask questions about how they will continue with their schooling and what type of services (such as childcare, food stamps and WIC, and health benefits) the State of Michigan will provide for them and their child. The more information gained, the easier it is for the teen to advocate for themselves to others, including the deciding parent/guardian or judge.
Teenagers will be thinking about the cost of the abortion and the short answer is that it depends on the stage of pregnancy and the type of procedure. The simpler the procedure, the less costly the expense. It can cost between about $300 and $950 in the first trimester. At up to 9 weeks pregnant, a medication abortion or abortion pill is available and is the least costly alternative. An early surgical abortion or manual vacuum aspiration is available to those who are 4 to 14 weeks pregnant and is more expensive. A good clinic will have information on how to pay for the costs and an attorney.
If you are pregnant and you are a minor, do not delay in seeking the answers and the help you need. Do not be embarrassed or regretful. Do the right thing for yourself without being concerned about what others will think. Ask for information. Ask for help. There is no person who has not made choices that were not the best for themselves. You will succeed in overcoming this life challenge by finding the answers to your questions without delay – reach out to someone now.
As a footnote, if you are a female teenager who is having sex, you are taking a risk that you will get pregnant. If you are willing and ready to take this risk, there is a good chance that you are a candidate to become an emancipated minor. This requires a petition to the court essentially proving that you are as responsible now as an 18 year old, who is considered an adult. Search LawRefs for more information about emancipation. If you were emancipated and became pregnant, you would retain your privacy in making a decision whether to have an abortion.