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Republican governors in Indiana and Idaho have signed into law bills banning gender-affirming care for minors, making those states the latest to restrict transgender health care as Republican-led legislatures continue to curb LGBTQ+ rights this year. The age of consent in New Jersey is 16 years old, meaning that anyone who
is at least 16 years of age can legally consent to sexual activity with
another adult—no matter what age. There is a close in age exemption for children between the ages of 15 and 17 as long as the other partner is less than 3 years older than the person under the age of 18. With just under 40 million people, California is the most populous state. Its age of consent is 18, and anyone seventeen or under is considered incapable of consenting to sex in California. So, anyone having sex with a partner under eighteen is theoretically committing a crime.

Under most circumstances, a doctor won’t reveal to you that your child took a pregnancy test. Instead, the doctor will talk to your teen about her options and inform her of her rights in your state. In some states, minors can still get the vaccine, regardless of their parents’ opposition. In other states, however, parents must give consent before the vaccine can be given. Over the past 30 years, states have increased minors’ ability to gain access to contraception without parental consent.

Parental Consent and Notification Laws

The descriptions of the offenses within each state summary use the specific terms from the statutes and the summaries include footnoted definitions of these terms whenever the statutes provide them. This report focuses on laws that criminalize voluntary sexual acts involving a minor that would be legal if not for the age of one or more of the participants. The report does not include laws where the legality of the sexual acts is dependent on the relationship of the participants (e.g., incest, sex between teachers and students or doctors and patients). In addition, the summaries do not include laws that criminalize specific sexual behavior (e.g., sodomy, bestiality) or deal primarily with prostitution, sexual exploitation,[7] or enticement.

More often, a states code will address legality of different sexual activities involving minors (e.g., sexual contact versus penetration). Sometimes it is difficult to identify the applicable laws because they are often embedded in the section of the code dealing with other sexual offenses (e.g., sexual assault, forcible rape). While the age of consent is 16, Alabama’s statutory rape law is violated when an individual over the age of 18 engages in sexual intercourse with a person over the age of 12 and under age 16. Or when a person 16 or older engages in sexual intercourse with a victim that is at least two years younger.

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When an adult engages in sexual behaviour with someone below the age of consent, they are committing a criminal offence (child sexual abuse). In the United States, the age of consent is the legal age at which a person is considered mature enough to consent to sex. Sexual relations with an individual under the state’s mandated age of consent is deemed as statutory rape, since rape is generally defined as sex without the other’s consent, and anyone under the age of consent does not have the ability to consent in the eyes of the law.

When you treat an adult, your legal and ethical obligations typically are to that client. Accordingly, your client is the person with whom you deal in addressing issues of privacy and confidentiality. However, when your client is a minor, you often must let the minor’s parent or legal guardian decide how to deal with privacy issues.

Testing and Treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections

In nearly all states, convictions will require the defendant to register as a sex offender. Police officer mistakes, faulty breathalyzers and crime lab errors may get your charges reduced or dismissed. The previous exception allowing 17-years-old to get married was part of a law Cuomo signed in 2017. The 2017 law also raised the age of consent from 14 to 18 years old, Spectrum News 1 reported. “Children should be allowed to live their childhood and I thank the many legislators and advocates who worked diligently to advance this measure and further prevent forced marriages in this state,” he added.

As of 2022, all jurisdictions have laws that explicitly allow a minor of a particular age (as defined by each state) to give informed consent to receive STD diagnosis and treatment services. In some jurisdictions, a minor might be legally allowed to give informed consent to receive specific STD or HIV services, including PrEP, even if the law is silent on those disease-related services. For example, HIV services might be interpreted as being included under STD services, and prevention might be interpreted as being included under a broad definition of treatment or services. A handful of lawmakers across the country are trying to raise the minimum marriage age in their states. A California bill that would prohibit minors from marrying at all was recently adjusted to allow underage marriage under increased judicial scrutiny, a concession to help it pass. The New Jersey legislature recently passed a bill prohibiting all marriage under age 18, but Republican Governor Chris Christie vetoed it in May.

New York bans child marriage, raises age of legal consent to 18

Our legal understanding of what the age of consent should be is shaped by the moral viewpoints on sexuality at any given time. Outdated concepts like the idea that statutory rape is only something men do to young girls have been swapped out in favor of the idea that statutory rape is something an adult does to a vulnerable younger person. Pew’s analysis of child marriage, which was released in November 2016, found nearly 58,000 minors in the U.S. between the ages of 15 and 17 had been married as of 2014.

Additionally, many teens wouldn’t seek contraception or treatment for sexually transmitted infections if their parents had to be involved in the appointments. In a regional survey of adolescents, only 20 percent of teens said they would talk to a physician about birth control, drug use, and sexually transmitted infections if the doctor was mandated to report the information to their parents. If you are under 16, your state requires that one of your parents, a grandparent or a mental health professional be told of your decision 24 hours before your abortion. Be careful to go to a real health center and not a crisis pregnancy center — these are anti-abortion clinics that don’t offer a full range of real health care, won’t give you honest information about your pregnancy options, and usually don’t have to follow privacy laws. Planned Parenthood or can help you find a trustworthy health care provider. If your state does have parental involvement laws, you may be able to get a judge’s permission to have an abortion without telling your parents.

She participated in two previous Miss Huntingdon pageants, winning second runner-up honors in 2021 and first runner-up honors in 2022. Shannon Roark McCarty, a native of Boulder, Colorado, is the daughter of Miriam and Eric McCarty. She serves as social chair for Phi Mu women’s fraternity, a senator for the Student Government Association, event planner for the Business Club, and a member of the Hawks cheer team, the women’s lacrosse team, College Republicans, and the CCV Student Council. Niyah Marie Lucas, a freshman psychology major, is the daughter of Nicole and Bob Lucas of Montgomery, Ala. She is a Presidential Fellow; a senator for the Student Government Association; a counseling services volunteer; the president and founder of the Mental Health Awareness Club; and a member of the Freshman Leadership Initiative, the Glee Club, and the Psychology Club.