Starting January 1, 2012, if you will not be 18 at the time of your abortion appointment, the New Hampshire Parental Notification Law applies to you. Even if you live in another state, whether or not your home state has such a law, you must comply with the New Hampshire Law. This law applies to both medical and surgical abortions.
The New Hampshire Law requires that one parent or legal guardian, chosen by you, be notified that you are choosing to have an abortion. They do not have to agree with your decision but they have to be notified of your intent. If you don’t think you can tell them, you have the option to go to court and ask a judge to excuse you from this requirement. The procedure is called a “judicial bypass.”
If your parent or guardian is coming with you to the appointment, they can sign a statement at Equality Health Center that they were notified and you will be in compliance with the Law and no other action on your part is necessary.
If your parent or guardian cannot come with you to the clinic you still have several choices:
- If your parent/guardian knows about your appointment, they must fill out and sign a Parental Notification form in front of a Notary Public. This form is available from our office, by mail, fax, e-mail or may be downloaded here. No matter how you obtain the form, you must bring the original signed and notarized form with you, on the day you come for your appointment.
- We can send a notification letter to the parent/guardian of your choice by the U.S. postal service certified mail, return receipt requested with restricted delivery, to the address of your chosen parent/legal guardian. This notice must be sent at least 72 hours before your appointment. Before we can send the notification, we must have a Minor Consent Release form signed by you giving us permission to send it. This form is available from our office, by mail, fax, e-mail or may be downloaded here.
If you feel that you cannot tell your parent/guardian that you are pregnant and that you believe an abortion is the best option for you, you can go to court and get a waiver of notification or judicial bypass. We can connect you with a lawyer at NO COST to you, to represent you during the court proceedings. You do not have to go through this alone. The court proceeding will take place within 48 hours of your attorney filling the request for the waiver. If the judge decides you are mature and capable of understanding and giving an informed consent for the abortion, or if the judge decides that not involving a parent/guardian is in your best interest, they will grant you the waiver and you can go ahead and have the abortion.
THE LAW REQUIRES ALL RECORDS ABOUT YOUR REQUEST AND THE MEETINGS THAT TAKE PLACE BE SEALED AND KEPT CONFIDENTIAL.
If the judge denies your request, you may appeal the decision. This appeal, must take place within 48 hours. All legal counsel is free to you. Again, all that transpires is confidential.
An unintended pregnancy can feel overwhelming. If you are not sure about your options, call us and talk to one of our health care professionals. We will give you accurate, unbiased information so that you can make an informed choice about what is best for you. We are here to support you no matter what option you choose. Remember, you are not alone.
We recognize that this is a hard time for you. If you want or need to talk to someone, we will be here.