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Minors, parents and family planning and STD services

Rachel Jones, PhD, Alan Guttmacher Institute, 120 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005, 2122481111 ext. 2262, rjones@agi-usa.org

At both the state and federal level, legislation is periodically introduced to require parental involvement for minor adolescents seeking prescription contraception. To assess the potential impact of such laws, a four-page, self-administered survey was distributed to a more than 1,500 minor adolescents attending a sample of 75 large, U.S. family planning clinics. Preliminary findings based on 999 surveys suggest that even if parents were informed, the majority of minor teens (59%) would (still) obtain prescription methods from the clinic. Multiple responses were allowed, and a substantial minority indicated that they would use an over-the-counter method (44%) and/or visit a private physician for contraception (18%). Less than 10% would stop having sex. Just under two-thirds of teens report that at least one parent knows they use clinical sexual health services, usually because they had voluntarily told a parent or a parent recommended the clinic. These preliminary findings suggest that mandated parental involvement for family planning would have little impact on overall levels of teen sexual activity but might have a substantial impact on the extent to which minor adolescents use prescription methods as a significant proportion might switch to using (only) over-the-counter methods. We collected information about reasons some teens did not tell a parent they use sexual health services, and analyses of these data will be presented as well.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Reproductive Health of Young People: U.S. and International Viewpoints

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA