Finding Legal Help
You are not required to hire an attorney, but legal matters can be complicated. Consider talking to an attorney to go over your options. See the Finding Legal Help page for information about free and low cost ways to get legal help.
Como encontrar ayuda legal
Usted no está obligado a contratar un abogado, pero los asuntos legales pueden ser complicados. Considere la posibilidad de hablar con un abogado para hablar de sus opciones. Para información sobre cómo obtener ayuda legal vea nuestra página Como encontrar ayuda legal.
Waiver of Consent To Abortion
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that there is not a right to abortion under the U.S. constitution. There is a lawsuit pending about how this will affect abortion law in Utah. Contact the Self-Help Center or see our Finding Legal Help page if you have questions about the law.
If you are pregnant, to get an abortion, you must get written permission (consent) from one of your parents or legal guardians if you are:
- Under 18 and
- Not married
If you can't get consent or don't want to, you can ask the court to waive consent. This page explains how to ask a juvenile court judge to authorize an abortion without parental consent. The proceedings are confidential. No information about you or your petition will be available to the public. There is no cost for this.
Filing the petition
Complete the form Petition for Waiver of Consent by Parent or Legal Guardian to Minor's Abortion. All forms are available in the forms section below. File the Petition with a clerk of the juvenile court. You may file the petition in any county.
Be sure to include some way for the court to contact you. The court will contact you at the email address or phone number you include in your petition.
If you file the petition in person, you must do so at the office of a clerk of the juvenile court. The court directory has a list of court locations. After you file the petition, the clerk will ask you to wait while the file is opened and a hearing date is scheduled.
Call the clerk of the juvenile court if you do not receive a Notice of Hearing within 48 hours of filing the petition.
Right to a lawyer
You have the right to be represented by a lawyer. This is free. If you are not represented by a lawyer, the court may appoint someone to help you. This could be a:
- lawyer or
- guardian ad litem (someone who is required to represent your best interests) to help you.
If possible, the clerk will tell you while you are waiting for the file to be opened of the name, address, and telephone number of your lawyer or guardian ad litem. That lawyer will represent you at the hearing and on any further appeal, if required.
The clerk will schedule a hearing when you file your petition. The hearing must be scheduled within:
- three calendar days or
- two business days (whichever is longer)
This time does not include weekends and holidays. The clerk will give you a notice with information about the time and date of the hearing as soon as possible.
Be sure to attend the hearing. If you don't attend your petition could be denied.
At the hearing, the judge must decide whether you are mature and capable of agreeing to have the abortion. If you do not claim to be mature, or if the judge finds you are not mature, the judge must then decide whether an abortion without consent from one of your parents or guardian is in your best interests. The judge may ask you questions. You have the right to introduce evidence at the hearing about your maturity and best interests.
The judge will issue a decision right after the hearing. If the judge finds you are mature and can knowingly agree to have the abortion, or that an abortion without consent from one of your parents or guardians is in your best interests, the judge will authorize the abortion. If the judge grants your petition, the clerk will give you a certified order. You can give this to your doctor.
If the judge denies your petition, the clerk will give you a copy of the order. The clerk will also give you information about your right to appeal.
If you don't like the ruling, you have a right to an appeal. You must file a Notice of Appeal in the juvenile court clerk's office no later than 30 days after the file-stamped date on the juvenile court order
The court of appeals may set a hearing on your appeal. If the Court of Appeals schedules a hearing, the clerk will contact you with that information using the contact information in the petition or Notice of Appeal. Be sure to provide contact information in the Notice so the court can tell you of the date and time of the appellate hearing, if one is set.
The juvenile court clerk will send you or your lawyer a copy of the recording or transcript of the juvenile court hearing. There is no cost to you for preparing the transcript or for the recording.
Hearing on appeal
The Court of Appeals will hold a hearing on the appeal (sometimes call oral argument). They will give you a decision on your appeal within 3 business days after you file the Notice of Appeal. If the court schedules a hearing, you may attend in person or by phone. The clerk will send you the decision using the contact information in your petition.
Forms to Petition for Waiver of Consent
- Petition for Waiver of Parental Consent to Abortion - PDF | Word
- Order Appointing an Attorney - PDF | Word
- Notice of Hearing - PDF | Word
- Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order - PDF | Word
Forms to appeal
The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.