Frequently asked questions.
If you have questions that aren't answered below, call or text us at (385)-202-3811 or email us at email@example.com.
Who has to be involved in my decision to get an abortion?
Utah law requires you to get the consent of a parent or guardian in order to get an abortion. However, if you don't want to involve your parents, you may ask a juvenile court to allow you to make the decision without your parents consent.
What's a judicial bypass?
Judicial bypass is the process where minors can bypass their parents' consent in order to receive an abortion. See the "What Is Judicial Bypass?" tab for more information.
Do I have to be from Utah to get a bypass?
No, any person under 18 can get a judicial bypass in Utah.
If I get a bypass, do I still have to tell my parents?
Yes, even if you get a judicial bypass, the physician must still notify your parents 24 hours before the procedure. There are certain exceptions to this requirement.
Do I have to be a US citizen to get a bypass?
No, nor do you have to be a resident of Utah.
What do I wear to court?
Wear something comfortable, but remember that the judge will be making their decision partially on your maturity. If you have specific questions as to what to wear, ask your attorney!
How do I get to court?
There are two juvenile courthouses in Salt Lake County where the bypass hearing may be. One is in West Jordan and one is in Salt Lake City. You can find public transit information here or you can also have someone you trust give you a ride. If neither of those are possible, ask your attorney about more options. If you live outside of Salt Lake County, call, text or email us to find out what your options are.
What happens if my hearing is during a school day?
The court can provide a note for your school saying that you were at court and should be excused from school. The note will have the judge's name on it, but will not say why you were there. Additionally, your attorney can provide you with a note saying that the two of you were meeting.
Who will be at the hearing?
You, your attorney, the judge, a court reporter (a court employee who writes everything down), and anyone else you choose to bring will be at the hearing. The judge may decide to appoint a guardian ad litem, which is a lawyer who is appointed to represent your best interests as a minor, but you will know before the hearing if a guardian ad litem will be there. The hearing is "closed," which means it is not open to the public and no one else may come in.
What kinds of questions will the judge ask?
The judge will ask you questions about the abortion procedure and whether you know the risks. They will also ask you personal questions about school, work, your relationship with your parents, the father, how you got pregnant, your plans to prevent future pregnancies, and anything else they may need to determine that you are mature and an abortion is in your best interest.
How long does it take for the judge to decide?
The judge must give you a decision at the hearing or soon after. If the judge determines you're mature and capable of giving informed consent or an abortion without involving your parents is in your best interest, you'll be given an order from the court to take to the clinic where you'll have the abortion procedure. If the judge denies or dismisses your case and you disagree with their decision, your attorney can help you file an appeal within 30 days.
What if I change my mind and I don't want to have an abortion?
If you receive a judicial bypass but you no longer want to have an abortion, you are not required to get an abortion and you do not have to go back to the clinic. The choice to have an abortion or to continue your pregnancy is 100% yours.
What reproductive health related services can I get without telling my parents?
You can get pregnancy tests, pregnancy options counseling, birth control, emergency contraception, STD testing, HIV testing and counseling, and sexual health education from Title X clinics (like Planned Parenthood) without involving your parents.