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Teens and Abortion in New York State

Choices Women’s Medical Center, located in Jamaica, New York, offers women of all ages, nationality, gender identity, and culture a full range of educational, medical, and counseling services. We ensure 100% confidentiality for all of our services, which include private abortion clinic procedures up to 24 week’s gestation.

According to the government of the City of New York, in 2004 the pregnancy rate was 90 per 1000 female adolescents between 15 and 19 years of age.1 Key findings in a report released by the Guttmacher Institute revealed that, in 2008, abortion rates in New York State were 37 per 1000 women between the ages of 15 and 19, making this the highest rate in the country for that year.

Abortion Services Stock Image

 

Abortion Deserts Becoming More Common

Teenage women seeking abortion services are now finding it more difficult than ever to do so. Some states have passed restrictive laws requiring abortion clinics to meet ambulatory surgical center standards before they can open. These mandatory delays can be lengthy, preventing women from receiving abortion services in their state.

To add to this, abortion clinics are closing at a rapid rate in some parts of the country. This is most often due to the costs involved in meeting ambulatory standards. In some states, physicians are required by law to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals in order to be eligible to perform abortions at clinics, which has also caused delays and resulted in clinic closures.

New York City has made health care for adolescents a public health priority. Many pregnant minors and teens have questions about their right to confidentiality, parental inclusion, and other aspects of abortion law in New York.

 

Privacy and Confidentiality

New York State abortion laws for minors permit teens to receive confidential family planning and reproductive health care, including abortion, without having to first obtain parental permission.

Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), adolescents who are 18 or older are legal adults and, as such, can exercise the rights of individuals. The same is true of emancipated minors.

Adolescents younger than 18 who are not emancipated can, in the State of New York, access confidential abortion services and other reproductive health care without parental knowledge or consent.

In fact, New York’s abortion laws offer very few barriers to abortion, which is why so women travel great distances in order to receive these services. Several other states require waiting periods, as well as parental and partner consent prior to receiving abortion services.

These clinic closures have resulted in the formation of “abortion deserts,” or a lack of abortion services across several states. This dramatically raises the cost of the procedure for women who need it, as they may have to stay in hotels in addition to paying for travel to a clinic, as well as having to pay for the procedure.

 

Teen having an informative talk with counselor

 

Out-of-State Patients and Insurance

If you are an out-of-state teen who is unable to receive an abortion in your home state, you will be able to receive this service in the State of New York from many clinics, including Choices.

Choices accept Medicaid from Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York, as well as most forms of insurance.

Additionally, if you require abortion services and are a resident of Bermuda, Puerto Rico, or Barbados, you will be able to receive these services from Choices Women’s Medical Center.

 

Housing, Appointment Escort and Financial Services

For those requiring temporary housing in order to receive abortion services, help is available via the Haven Coalition’s volunteer network. This option requires giving notice, as patients stay at volunteers’ homes. This option may also include arrangements for an escort to and from patient appointments.

Financial services offered by Choices Medical Center and some other clinics via partner agencies can provide financial support to low-income individuals. Choices can also help with the completion of applications for emergency Medicaid if needed, which allows you to receive abortion services on the same or next day.

 

Abortion Procedures

For teens requiring abortion services, it’s important to understand which types of abortion options are available in New York at specific trimesters. Abortions beyond 24 weeks of pregnancy are only permitted if a doctor has the opinion that not aborting the fetus will leave the patient at serious risk of death.

Abortion services at Choices and many other clinics will include a counseling session with a licensed clinical social worker. This session is offered so that you fully understand your options and can be well-informed about what each procedure entails to lessen any anxiety about it.

Like all services provided by Choices, counseling sessions are always 100% confidential and non-judgmental, providing you with facts you need to help you to choose the right option for you.

 

In the First Trimester – Medical and Surgical Abortions

Helping Hand

There are different types of abortion procedures available to you, depending on how far along you are in the first trimester.

If You Are 10 Weeks Pregnant or Less

If you are 10 weeks pregnant or less, it’s possible that you will be eligible for a medical abortion. A medical abortion involves taking RU486, also known as the abortion pill. However, before you can do this, a sonogram will be required to confirm that this procedure will be the right one for you.

After counseling, a healthcare provider will administer the initial pill and instructions for what to do next. You will take the second pill several days after the first, and may experience a range of symptoms, all which will be explained prior to the procedure. These include cramps, nausea, and headache. The medical abortion process may take as little as three days or as many as several weeks to complete.

If You Are 12 Weeks Pregnant or Less

If you are 12 weeks pregnant or less, a surgical abortion may be the best choice. Like with the abortion pill process, the surgical abortion process involves getting a sonogram to determine where in the pregnancy you are. After this, you will receive counseling and then meet with a physician, who will then perform the procedure.

A surgical abortion takes less than 10 minutes and involves general anesthesia. You will need to spend time in a recovery room under careful monitoring to ensure you receive the care you require for any dizziness, cramps, or weakness you may feel during this time. When they deem you ready, you will be taken to another room where you must sit and wait for 30 minutes.

Because a surgical abortion involves anesthesia, you will be required to have someone to escort you home following the procedure.

 

In the Second Trimester – Surgical Abortion

If you have been pregnant for 13 to 24 weeks, you are in your second trimester of pregnancy. At this stage, a more involved surgical abortion will be your option.

This two-stage process will involve getting a sonogram before receiving counseling and seeing a physician. The abortion doctor will dilate your cervix via the insertion of organic strips. Following this procedure, you will be able to go home. After 24 hours, when your cervix has dilated, you will return to undergo the second half of the procedure.

How Long It Takes

You will be placed under anesthesia for this second half, which will take 20 minutes or less to complete. You will then be taken to the recovery room for monitoring and can expect to remain there for one hour. This procedure requires you to have an escort to ensure you are safely returned home.

Finding Quality Care at All Stages of Abortion

When you need abortion services, it’s critical that you find a clinic that will provide you with quality care before, during, and after your procedure. This will help you fully understand your available options and the procedure you’ve chosen, as well as ensure you are healthy before, during, and after your procedure.

Many clinics in New York, including Choices, will offer you a range of pregnancy prevention options following your abortion procedure. You can opt to receive Plan B pills, have an IUD inserted after an abortion procedure, or access other options which prevent pregnancy as well as the spread of STIs or sexually transmitted infections.

Choices Women’s Medical Center is dedicated to the health of all women, regardless of their age. We ensure safe abortion procedures and also meet ambulatory standards as set forth by the American Association of Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). Our full range of health care includes walk-in abortions, and the services we provide are always truthful and compassionate. Learn more about our services by calling (718) 786-5000.

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