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Legislation, Bypass of Parental Input into Abortion - Minor (Pre-Dobbs)

Ark. Code. Ann. § 20-16-804 provides that "a physician shall not perform an abortion upon an unemancipated minor or upon a woman for whom a guardian or custodian has been appointed because of a finding of incompetency unless the physician first obtains the written consent of either parent or the legal guardian or custodian."  This is true unless bypass of parental consent is approved by the court or in cases of medical emergencies. Id

In a judicial proceeding where a minor seeks to obtain a waiver of the requirement of parental consent for an abortion, such a pregnant minor or incompetent woman may participate in proceedings in the court on her own behalf. Ark. Code. Ann. § 20-16-809(b)(1).  However, “the court shall advise her that she has a right to court-appointed counsel and upon her request shall provide her with such counsel.” Id.




Note: Since the U.S. Supreme Court decision's in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, 142 S.Ct. 2228 (2022), the laws governing abortion are complicated and rapidly changing.  This major development may not be current since Dobbs.  For up-to-date information about the status of abortion by state, please see Center for Reproductive Rights, After Roe Fell: Abortion Laws by State.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no