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Abortion is a deeply personal and often complex decision for a woman. Planned Parenthood believes a woman should have accurate information about all her options. Information should support a woman, help her make a decision for herself, and enable her to take care of her health and well-being.

Providing women with access to quality, nonjudgmental health care is a priority for Planned Parenthood.  Since 1984, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast health centers in Baton Rouge and New Orleans have provided affordable, quality health care services to women and men in Louisiana in a confidential and nonjudgmental manner. Keeping Planned Parenthood's doors open in Louisiana is vital to women's health care.

Our new health center in New Orleans will offer the full range of reproductive health services and expanded education programming, and clinical research, in addition to providing lifesaving cancer screenings, contraception, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. Women who need to end a pregnancy will eventually be able to rely on Planned Parenthood in Louisiana for safe, legal abortion.

What is happening in Louisiana?

A restrictive abortion law was passed and if this law takes effect, it will pose a serious risk to women across Louisiana. Reports indicate this law could cause some of Louisiana's five remaining health centers providing safe and legal abortion to close their doors, which could end access south of Shreveport. A woman would have to drive up to 300 miles one way to obtain safe, legal abortion care.

What is happening in Louisiana is part of a dangerous national trend. With these same dangerous restrictions enacted in neighboring states, the United States is becoming a country where a woman's ability to make personal medical decisions without interference from politicians will be dependent upon where she lives.

Do teens need their parent's permission to get an abortion?

Yes. In Louisiana, state law requires that the parent or legal guardian provide written permission for unmarried teens (under the age of 18) to have an abortion. There are a few exceptions:

1) The teen can go before a judge and receive permission from the judge to have an abortion without the parent's permission (also known as Judicial Bypass). For information about Parental Consent or Judicial Bypass visit the Louisiana Judicial Bypass Project page.

2) Teens who are legally emancipated do not need to have permission from a parent or guardian or

3) If there is a medical emergency and the pregnant teen needs an abortion, the parent does not have to give permission.