Schedule Today

“Legally, Do I Have to Tell My Parents I’m Pregnant?”

Laws affecting Americans’ reproductive rights have become very complicated in recent months, especially when it comes to abortion.  It’s challenging for anyone to understand the new legal factors involved, let alone someone who’s actually facing an unexpected pregnancy and navigating this stressful process for herself.  Maybe you’re wondering what you’re required to say to your parents (if anything) as a minor who finds herself in this situation.  Do your parents have to be notified or included in your decision-making process?  In what way?  And how are you supposed to approach this difficult topic with them or anyone else?

Chances are, questions like these have been triggering lots of anxiety for you lately.  Our caring pregnancy consultants and nurses at Avenue Women’s Center are available to walk through the confusing days of this unexpected pregnancy by your side.  We’re a limited medical clinic with five locations in Chicagoland, Illinois.  We’re passionate about educating individuals on all their pregnancy options, and equipping them with the tools they need to make informed and confident decisions of their own. 

Discover our free and completely confidential services at Avenue We provide medical-grade pregnancy tests, options consultations, limited medical ultrasounds, and more.

A Complex Web of Rules and Regulations

Less than two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court decision Dobbs vs. Jackson overturned the federal right to abortion under the Constitution (Guttmacher Institute), and gave states the authority to create and enforce their own abortion laws.  A lot of public confusion has followed this historic event, as abortion laws have become extremely diverse as a result.  Rules related to parental involvement for minors differ significantly from state to state at the time this blog is being written.  According to Guttmacher Institute, most states still require that parents be involved to some extent in a minor’s decision to get an abortion, although the particulars vary.  The majority of states also include, “a judicial bypass procedure that allows a minor to receive court approval for an abortion without their parents’ knowledge or consent” (Guttmacher Institute).  Most states allow a minor to obtain confidential prenatal care if they choose to continue the pregnancy.  Twelve out of fifty have no clear policy describing the legal ability of a minor to consent to prenatal treatment (Guttmacher Institute).

Facing an Unexpected Pregnancy in Illinois

Here in Illinois, where Avenue Women’s Center is based, individuals of any age who are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy have significant autonomy over their reproductive care.  A 2021 Illinois press release states, “In 2019, Illinois established in state law a fundamental right to reproductive healthcare, including abortion and maternity care, through the Reproductive Health Act.” There is no current law requiring that a minor tell her parents about an unexpected pregnancy, notify her parents of an abortion, or get their consent.  The Parental Notification Act (PNA) was repealed by Illinois governor JB Pritzker in 2021, and this bill went into effect in June, 2022 (  .

Sharing Your News with Someone You Trust

As you continue to navigate your unexpected pregnancy, keep in mind that it can be extremely beneficial to confide in someone you trust.  Of course, that doesn’t have to be a parent.  Maybe you have a wise friend, a caring mentor, a faith leader, or a professional counselor who you believe would listen well and give you helpful feedback without judgment or criticism.  An expert pregnancy consultant from Avenue Women’s Center would be available to meet this need as well.  It’s really important to process your situation with someone who cares and receive encouragement.  Hearing another perspective (expressed in a kind, respectful way) will also allow you to see your circumstances with a bigger-picture point of view.

Check out some of our other blogs that deal with the subject of sharing pregnancy news!

At Avenue Women’s Center, we’re all about equipping the people we serve with reliable information about their pregnancy options, available resources, and unique pregnancies.  We’ve seen how knowing these facts can empower women to pursue a positive pregnancy outcome with greater confidence.  Building a thriving support system can too!   Our expert team is here to be a part of this critical network for you, while helping you strengthen your connections with other sources of support in your life.

Reach out to schedule an appointment!  We’re located in Darien, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn / Lombard, West Chicago, and Wood Dale, Illinois.  We also offer virtual consultations!

*Avenue Women’s Center is not a provider of legal services, and the information in this blog should not be interpreted as legal advice.  We are an early pregnancy center with limited medical clinics in Illinois only.  It’s highly recommended that you check your state’s laws if you have questions about the legality of parental involvement for a pregnant minor, or any other legal questions relating to this matter.



The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.