The ACLU put together a booklet of information for teens regarding your health rights and the law.
If you don’t have time to read the whole document or can’t watch the videos, here are the top 10 things that you need to know:
The age of consent for sexual activity in Ohio is 16 years old – anyone under the age of 16 is considered unable to consent to sexual activity.
Your doctor cannot give out your personal information, health information, or sexual history – unless someone else is at risk (STDs, threat of violence), you are a risk to yourself (suicide), a court orders them to give the information, or you are being physically or sexually abused.
If you use your parent’s health insurance, they may be able to see what services your doctor provides – so things like STD testing may not be private if you are on their insurance.
You can ask the health insurance company to make the billing statement private – so your parents won’t be able to see what services you had.
You do not need parental consent for STD testing and treatment. Healthcare providers are there to help
– they offer healthcare like STD and pregnancy tests and treatment for free or on a sliding scale based on your income.
No one but you and your parents have access to your medical files and test results without your permission – so your friends, partner, school nurse, etc. cannot call and get that information.
You can also get birth control without parental consent or knowledge – some government programs provide free birth control to teens aged 13 and older and private doctors may allow a teen to consent for him/herself if they think they are mature enough.
HIV testing can be anonymous or confidential – anonymous means no one knows who the test belongs to because you are identified by a number code, and confidential means the test is on your medical record but no one but you can access it.
If you are under 18, you cannot get an abortion without your parent’s permission – they must come with you to the appointment and agree to it, then you have to wait 24 hours before you can have the procedure. But, the father of the child does not need to consent to the abortion and the mother does not need to inform the father if she does not want to do so.Note: A minor may apply for a judicial bypass for abortion. A judicial bypass is an order from a judge that allows a minor to get an abortion without the notification or consent of her parents. The judicial bypass process is entirely confidential. No one will know your name or that you filed an application.
If you are 17 or older, you can purchase Emergency Contraception (Plan B) without parental consent – Plan B can be purchased over the counter at most drug stores and should be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex to be effective.
CLICK HERE to download the ACLU’s free booklet Your Health and the Law: A Guide for Teens.