Sex in the States

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Wondering what's going on in your state? See how your state stacks up on sexuality issues for teens. And don't forget to find out how to make a difference on these issues.

Nebraska

Sex Ed

Sex ed Rights

  • Nebraska state law does not require sexuality education. Local school boards decide whether or not to teach sex ed, which subjects it must cover, and what grade levels will be taught.
  • Nebraska received $210,484 in federal funds for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in Fiscal Year 2010. Think that money could go to better use? Want your school to offer comprehensive sexuality education?  If you want your school to offer a comprehensive sexuality education class in your school then be sure to learn more at SIECUS about your state and check out the Roadmap. You can make a difference!

HIV/AIDS and Other STDs Education

  • Nebraska state law does not require STDs and HIV/AIDS education. Local school boards decide whether or not to teach sex ed and which subjects.
  • You do not need your parents’ permission to participate in sexuality education or HIV/AIDS education classes. It is not clear if parents can take you out of the class if they object to the material.

Age of Minority

18

You are considered a minor (someone who is not an adult) if you are under 19 years old. This is a legal status that lawmakers created for your protection. We want you to be informed because being a “minor” affects your right to information and services. To learn more, read on!

Keep in mind that these laws may be different for you if you are legally considered an emancipated minor, pregnant minor, minor living apart or married minor. You can learn more by talking to a legal representative at various agencies.

lgbtq rights

LGBTQ Rights

  • Public schools in your state have no Safe Schools Law in effect, which is a statewide anti-harassment and/or nondiscrimination law that includes the categories of sexual orientation and gender identity. But some school districts have decided to adopt their own Safe Schools policies.
  • There are no statewide anti-bullying laws to protect students based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • There are statewide anti-discrimination laws, but they do not clearly include sexual orientation or gender identity. State hate crimes laws include sexual orientation but not gender identity.
  • If discrimination, harassment, or a hate crime happens to you or someone you know, please call the Gay and Lesbian National Hotline at 1-888-THE-GLNH (843-4564) for help and support, or check out Lambda Legal. No one deserves harassment or should have to put up with it.
hiv aids testing

HIV / AIDS Testing

  • You don’t need permission from your parent or guardian to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV in your state.
  • If you are a minor, it is very important for you to ask questions about confidentiality when you call to make your appointment. Specifically ask, “If I make an appointment and receive any kind of services at your clinic, will you tell my parents or anyone else?” This applies to all services, including testing for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
  • To make sure your visit is confidential, tell the clinic staff how to contact you about test results and future appointments without your parents knowing.
  • Your state offers both anonymous and confidential HIV testing. This means that if you get tested for HIV, you can choose to either have your results confidentially reported to the health department using your name, or have your results anonymously reported to the health department using a number code, not your name.
  • Find an HIV testing site in your area here or call the Centers for Disease Control’s 24-hour National AIDS Hotline at 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636).
Condoms

Condoms

  • Yes, you can buy condoms, and you do not have to be a certain age to buy them. Teens of any age can buy condoms from a drugstore, pharmacy, grocery store, or even online. They are relatively inexpensive. A pack of twelve condoms costs about $12.  Female condoms are about $2 to $4 per condom.
  • You can get condoms for free or at a reduced cost from health clinics (like Planned Parenthood), HIV testing centers, and local health departments. (Call 1-800-230-PLAN (7526) for the nearest Planned Parenthood Health Center.)
  • If you buy condoms, check the expiration date on the box or the package to make sure that the condoms haven’t expired yet. For information on how to use a condom correctly, check out this FAQ. Find out how to use or buy female condoms here.
Birth Control

Birth Control

Minors who are married can get a prescription for birth control without a parent’s permission. All other minors must get a parent’s permission to receive a prescription.

If you go to a Title X clinic, your appointment will be completely confidential, including your billing and your records.

Title X clinics provide sexual and reproductive health care to the public (girls, boys, teens and adults). Title X clinics offer many services, including prescriptions for the Pill, pregnancy option counseling, and testing for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

These clinics charge on a sliding-scale fee basis, and you can pay in cash. If you pay for your visit by using your family’s health insurance, then your parents are likely to see the bill when it arrives in the mail.

To make sure your visit is confidential, tell the clinic staff how to contact you about test results and future appointments without your parents knowing.

Find a Title X clinic near you here or call 1-800-230-PLAN (7526) for the nearest Planned Parenthood Health Center.

If you go to a private doctor or physician, then you need to ask them about their confidentiality rules when you are making the appointment. Ask them when you call:

  • Can I get services at your office without my parents’ permission?
  • Can my parent/s have access to my records?
  • Will my parent/s see the bill?

It is your right to get sexual and reproductive health care where you feel safe and comfortable, so don’t worry about asking these questions if these questions are important to you.

Abortion Rights

Abortion Rights

  • If you are under 18 years old and want an abortion, one parent must give you permission before you can get one. This is called “parental consent.” If that’s not possible, you are able to ask a judge for permission, or get special permission if it’s an emergency. This is called “judicial bypass.”
  • You do not need parental notification if you are receiving an abortion because of abuse, assault, incest or neglect.
  • There is a 24-hour mandatory waiting period in your state before a teen can get an abortion.
  • Your state provides Medicaid coverage for abortions needed as a result of life endangerment, rape, or incest. If you need help paying for an abortion, call the National Abortion Federation Hotline at 1-800-772-9100, Monday–Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time). The hotline can tell you where and how to get financial help for an abortion in the U.S.
  • To learn about the process of adoption and the services available, visit the National Council for Adoption and the Independent Adoption Center. You can also call the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse at 1-888-251-0075 for more information.
Pregnancy

Pregnancy

  • You do not need a prescription from a doctor or health care provider to get a pregnancy test. You can purchase a pregnancy test from a pharmacy, grocery store, or online. They cost between $10 and $18. You can also take a pregnancy test at a doctor’s office or clinic, like Planned Parenthood. Many clinics offer free or reduced-fee pregnancy tests.
  • All visits to Title X clinics are confidential for teens and adults. They will not share your records with your parents or your family doctor (or anyone else) without your permission.
  • Find a Title X clinic here or call 1-800-230-PLAN (7526) for the nearest Planned Parenthood Health Center.
  • If you pay for your visit by using your family’s health insurance, then your parents are likely to see the bill when it arrives in the mail. Almost all clinics provide free or sliding-scale fee services to teens in order to make it easier for teens to pay with cash.
  • To make sure your visit is confidential, tell the clinic staff how to contact you about test results and future appointments without your parents knowing.
  • Beware of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs). These centers claim to give you complete and accurate information about your pregnancy options when, in reality, their agenda is to discourage you from getting an abortion. They offer misleading and medically inaccurate information about abortion. Common names of these centers are “Crisis Pregnancy Center,” “Pregnancy Aid,” “Birth Right,” “Open Door” or “Pregnancy Counseling Center.”
Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception

  • People of any age can buy Plan B One-Step without a prescription over the counter at a local pharmacy. Next Choice, Next Choice One Dose, My Way and Levonorgestrel are approved for sale without a prescription to those who are 17 and older from a pharmacist. If you are 16 or younger, you will need a prescription for Next Choice, Next Choice One Dose, My Way and Levonorgestrel. The EC pill ella is only available with a prescription regardless of age. Prices may vary for each of these options depending on the brand, the pharmacy and which state you are in.
  • If you have been raped and you want EC, go to the emergency department of a hospital or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). Open 24 hours, the hotline will connect you to EC providers near you. For other helpful information, check out the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network’s website.
Sexting

Sexting

There are no laws in Nebraska specifically regarding sexting. However, sexting falls under state child pornography regulations, which state that pictures of a person under 18 engaged in sexual behaviors is a crime.  However, under this statute, if someone 18 years or younger has a nude picture of someone 15 years-old or older that was taken by them and sent to the person in possession of the picture voluntarily, the person who has the picture can enter an affirmative defense. Basically, this means that they can admit to having the picture, but so long as the person in the picture is over 15 and they are 18 or younger, and the picture was taken and sent willingly they will not be guilty of a crime. You can learn more at your state’s website.

Sources

1.“Sex and STI/HIV Education,” State Policies in Brief, The Alan Guttmacher Institute.  October  1, 2011.
2.“State Profiles: A Portrait of Sexuality Education and Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs in the States,” Public Policy Office. Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). Accessed October 2011.
3.“Emancipation of Minors – Laws | LII / Legal Information Institute.” Cornell University Law School. October 2011.
4.State Laws on Age Requirements and Sex. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. October 2011.
5.States with Safe Schools Laws. Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. October 2011.
6.State of the States 2004: A Policy Analysis of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Safer Schools Issues. Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.  Accessed October 2011.
7.“An Overview of Minors’ Consent Laws, State Policies in Brief, The Alan Guttmacher Institute. October 2011.
8.“Minors’ Access to STI Services,” State Policies in Brief, The Alan Guttmacher Institute. October 2011.
9.HIV Anonymous/Confidential Testing. Kaiser Family Foundation. June 2005.  Accessed October 2011.
10.“Minors’ Access to Contraceptive Services,” State Policies in Brief, The Alan Guttmacher Institute. October 2011.
11.“Emergency Contraception,” State Policies in Brief, The Alan Guttmacher Institute. October 2011.
12.“Emergency Room Requirements To Offer/Provide Sexual Assault Survivors with Emergency Contraception.” Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. August 2011.  Accessed October 2011.
13.Pharmacist Provision of Emergency Contraception to Women Without a Doctor’s Prescription. Henry J. Kaiser Foundation. Accessed October 2011.
14.“Parental Involvement in Minors’ Abortions,” State Policies in Brief, The Alan Guttmacher Institute. October 2011.
15.“Counseling and Waiting Periods for Abortions,” State Policies in Brief, The Alan Guttmacher Institute.  October 2011.
16.“State Funding of Abortions Under Medicaid,” State Policies in Brief, The Alan Guttmacher Institute. October 2011.
17. “State Facts About Abortion.” State Center, The Alan Guttmacher Institute. October 2011.
18. “Anonymous HIV Testing Conducted by Health Departments, 2008.”  Kaiser Family Foundation.  Accessed October 2011.
19. “State Hate Crimes Statutory Provisions.” Anti-Defamation League.  Accessed October 2011.
20. “Sexting Legislation 2011.”  National Conference of State Legislation.  Updated September 2, 2011.  Accessed October 2011.
21. “Citizen’s Guide to United States Federal Child Exploitation Laws.”  Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, U.S. Department of Justice.  Accessed October 2011.
22. “Search Laws.” Nebraska Legislature, State of Nebraska.  Accessed October 2011.