What is a Judicial Bypass for Abortion?
A judicial bypass for abortion is an order from a judge that allows a person under the age of 18 to get an abortion without the consent of a parent, a legal guardian, or a legal custodian. The judicial bypass procedure is entirely confidential. No one will know that you requested the judicial bypass or met with the judge.
Who can ask for a Judicial Bypass for abortion?
Any person under the age of 18 who wants an abortion without needing their parent or guardian to consent.
What is the process for getting a Judicial Bypass in Indiana?
Contact the Indiana Judicial Bypass Coalition at (317) 476-6917. Our Intake Coordinator will talk to you about the judicial bypass process and gather some information so a lawyer can contact you.
The Intake Coordinator will identify a lawyer who will help you with your judicial bypass. There is no charge for the lawyer to help you.
Your lawyer will contact you, usually within one or two days, to set up a time to talk on the telephone for 30 to 60 minutes. During that call, the lawyer will ask you questions to learn about you and gather the necessary information to give the judge in writing before you meet with the judge in person.
You will be scheduled for a hearing with the judge. You will have to attend a hearing in the court in either the county where you live or the county in which your abortion will be performed. The hearing usually takes place within one week of your first conversation with the lawyer.
Once you know your hearing date, you will contact the clinic to schedule your appointments. Your appointments can take place any time after your hearing.
You will meet with your lawyer at least one time before the hearing. At this meeting, you will review the paperwork the lawyer has written for the judge. The lawyer will also talk to you about what to expect at your hearing.
Attend your hearing. The hearing is a meeting in the courtroom with just you, your lawyer, and the judge. Your lawyer will ask you some questions, and then the judge will ask you some questions. At the end of the hearing, the judge will tell you if your judicial bypass is approved. If it is approved, you will receive your order (the paperwork you need) immediately after the hearing.
When you go to your clinic appointments, take your judicial bypass order with you.
When do I start the process for getting a Judicial Bypass?
You will need to take your judicial bypass order (paperwork) to your first appointment at the abortion clinic. You can call the clinic to schedule your counseling appointment and your abortion before you get the court paperwork, but the appointments can't take place until after your hearing date.
How long does the process take?
It usually takes one to two weeks from the time you contact the Intake Coordinator to have your hearing and obtain your judicial bypass order.
How much does it cost to have a lawyer help me with my Judicial Bypass?
There is no charge to have a lawyer help you or to go to court. If you need help paying for your abortion, All-Options Hoosier Abortion Fund may be able to help. You can text or call them at 812-727-4423.
Will anyone find out that I got a Judicial Bypass?
The judicial bypass process and records are kept strictly confidential. Only you, your lawyer, and the judge will be present at your hearing, and no one will be able to see your court records.
What is it like to go to court for the hearing?
Going to court can be scary, even for some lawyers who do it all the time. Your lawyer will talk to you about what to expect, what to wear, and what questions you might be asked. You have to answer the questions by telling the truth. Your lawyer will be with you the whole time you are at the court.
How will the judge decide whether to grant a judicial bypass?
In order for the judge to approve your judicial bypass, they will want to make sure that you have considered all your options, and that you can explain why an abortion is the best option for you. They will also want to make sure that the decision to have an abortion is yours, and that no one else pressured you into it.
Your lawyer will gather this information from you and put it into writing before your hearing.
Can I still get a judicial bypass if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Yes. Citizenship status does not legally prevent you from obtaining a judicial bypass or an abortion.
Can I get an abortion in Indiana?
Starting September 15, 2022, people under 18 years old can only get an abortion in Indiana if they meet one of the exceptions – if your pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, you have been diagnosed with a lethal fetal anomaly, or the pregnancy poses a serious threat to your life or physical health.
You still need consent of one parent or guardian, or to get a judicial bypass, unless the pregnancy poses a serious threat to your life or physical health.
Where is the closest abortion clinic to me?
Unless you meet one of the exceptions under Indiana's abortion ban, you will need to leave the state to find abortion care. Visit AbortionFinder.org to find a clinic in another state like Illinois.
If you meet one the exceptions (for rape, incest, lethal fetal anomaly, or the pregnancy endangers your health or life), you may be able to get an abortion at a hospital in Indiana, like IU Health.