National Center for Youth Law

STRATEGIES

AAP v. Lungren

Along with a private law firm in San Francisco and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, NCYL attorney Abigail English successfully represented poor young women through several health care organizations that challenged a California law requiring minors seeking abortions to obtain parental consent or a court order. The law was enjoined before it took effect, and after 10 years in California state courts, the California Supreme Court ultimately agreed and held that the law violated a minor’s right to privacy under the California Constitution. The court made several important findings in reaching this conclusion: Minors’ privacy rights under the California Constitution are protected to the same extent as those of adults; the right to privacy includes the right to decide whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy; and mandating parental consent could harm the health of minors as well as the parent child relationship.