Unaccompanied in Pain: Gaps in Ohio Law Hurt Teen Moms
“They said that without parental consent that she would not be able to sign for her own epidural,” Sweeney says.
In Ohio, women under 18 who are in labor cannot consent to their own health care. They can receive emergency services, but nothing considered to be elective. For the many Ohio minors who become pregnant, it’s a painful gap in coverage.
It’s also complicated by the fact that in Ohio, there is no legal process for emancipation: a minor’s parent’s must be deceased, or the minor must be married or enlisted in the armed forces to be granted independent legal status.
“If they’re told you don’t have the right to ask for this, what’s going to make them bring this up to an ACLU lawyer?” she says.
Two Ohio lawmakers, Reps. Nickie Antonio and Kristin Boggs, are currently working to fix this oversight with a bill, HB 302, that’s progressing through the Ohio House.