The question of whether or not to get an abortion can be difficult to answer. But what happens when minors want to get abortions in Georgia? What role do parents play in this decision-making process? Is it possible for a parent to actively prevent their child from getting an abortion? What does the state of Georgia say about this situation? Let’s attempt to answer some of these difficult questions:
Georgia’s Requirements for Minor Abortions and Parental Notification
Georgia has a number of specific requirements when it comes to minors getting abortions and parental notification:
- Parents or guardians must be notified of the upcoming abortion at least 24 hours in advance
- Minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when getting abortions if notice has not been provided 24 hours in advance
- Accompanying parents or guardians must show proper ID
- Minors must sign a form stating that they consent to the abortion freely and without coercion
- Parental notification requirements can only be waived under rare circumstances
- Emancipated minors do not need to be accompanied by parents
While parents must be notified of upcoming abortions, minors do not need to get permission from parents before they get abortions. In some cases, children do not even need to discuss potential abortions with their parents. They can get something called a “judicial bypass,” and this allows them to go before a judge during a hearing.
During this hearing, they can get an order from a judge that allows them to get abortions without involving their parents. However, judges only provide judicial bypasses under certain circumstances. They may come to the conclusion that the minor must get permission from their parents in order to get the abortion.
Supreme Court Rulings
The existence of a judicial bypass procedure largely stems from a US Supreme Court ruling that states parents cannot have absolute veto power over children’s decisions to get abortions.
What if the Parents are Divorced?
If a judge decides that minors must get permission from their parents before getting abortions, the status of the parents’ marriage may complicate matters. If parents are divorced, there may be a situation where one parent agrees with the decision while the other disagrees. In this case, it may be necessary to go to court and modify the legal custody agreement. In this situation, a judge may need to decide whether the abortion is in the minor’s best interests.
Where Can I Find an Experienced Family Law Attorney?
If you have been searching for an experienced family law attorney in Georgia, look no further than Lankford & Moore Law. Over the years, we have guided numerous families through some of the most difficult legal decisions. Whether parents are married or divorced, speaking with an attorney can help them determine the best route forward. Book your consultation today to get started.