Here's How We're Helping Advocates Share Knowledge to Improve Young People's Abortion Access

Welcome to our third annual Youth Abortion Access Week at If/When/How! We’re highlighting the excellent work of youth activists, legal professionals, clinic workers, and supporters around the country who are working to make forced parental involvement laws a thing of the past, ensuring that young people are able to access abortion care without barriers, shame, or stigma. 

By: Rebecca Wang, J.D., If/When/How Helpline Counsel

Earlier this month, new restrictions on abortion access for young people went into effect in Florida, mandating that young people get parental consent for abortion care. Jessica Goldberg, If/When/How’s Youth Access Counsel, explained why this was particularly devastating coming off the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision in June Medical v. Russo, and why it is so critical that we continue to push for meaningful access to abortion for young people.

Parental involvement laws like the one in Florida, coupled with administrative and executive orders impacting the availability of court services during this pandemic, merely exacerbate what was already a complicated process riddled with barriers for young people seeking abortion care. That’s why, in order to try to demystify that process and make navigating the legal system more manageable, If/When/How launched the Judicial Bypass Wiki. Our Wiki serves as a living resource and central hub for information on parental involvement laws, compiled by local, state, and national advocates supporting young people. 

It is our hope that this will serve as a resource both for young people and for community advocates. There were already many deep wells of knowledge developed over time by advocates working to make the judicial bypass process easier to navigate, and one of our goals was to create a site where those wells would pool into one deep repository of knowledge. We wanted a site that clearly explained parental involvement laws and judicial bypass requirements in every state and included updates about changes in the law and court closures. We also wanted to create a place where advocates could connect with each other and directly share resources and referrals. 

Going forward, we have a lot more in store for the Wiki, including easy-to-digest graphics, step-by-step explanations for young people, translating existing information into additional languages, and creating supplemental resources. Please check out the site and stay tuned for those exciting changes to come. 

Our Wiki serves as a living resource and central hub for information on parental involvement laws, compiled by local, state, and national advocates supporting young people. 

In the meantime, if you are or know an advocate for young people navigating the judicial bypass process (or want to be one!) and can contribute to the Wiki, please reach out and get connected with us at [email protected] or directly request edit access. Attorneys can sign on to our letter supporting young people’s abortion access, and everyone can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for information about upcoming trainings and events around becoming a Wiki contributor, representing young people seeking judicial bypasses, and other ways to eliminate the barriers of forced parental involvement laws.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of If/When/How. If you like what you read, consider dropping a few bucks in our tip jar or sharing this post on Facebook or Twitter.