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.

Alaska

Sex Ed

Sex ed Rights

  • Alaska doesn’t have a law about sexuality education, so schools decide whether to teach sex ed, which means they can decide not to teach it.
  • Teaching about contraceptives, such as condoms, the Pill or the Patch, is permitted but is not required.

HIV/AIDS and Other STDs Education

  • Alaska does not require HIV education.
  • When sexuality education or HIV/AIDS education classes is provided in school, though, Alaska law doesn’t require parents’ permission for students to participate.

Age of Minority

17

  • In Alaska, you are considered a minor (someone who is not an adult) if you are under 18 years old. Being a “minor” affects your right to information and services.
  • 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.
lgbtq rights

LGBTQ Rights

  • Public schools in Alaska have no statewide anti-harassment, anti-bullying (including cyber bullying) and/or nondiscrimination laws. This means protections against harassment, bullying or discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity are not protected in schools. But some school districts have decided to adopt their own policies. All schools must abide by the Alaska Code of Ethics and Teaching Standards, which provides some protection for LGBTQ students.
  • There are statewide anti-discrimination laws and hate crimes laws, but they do not clearly include sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • If discrimination, harassment or a hate crime happens to you or someone you know, please call the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender National Hotline at 1-888-THE-GLNH (843-4564), 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), including HIV, in Alaska. But if you test positive for HIV or another STD and receive treatment, the health care provider may legally discuss this with your parents.
  • If you’re under 18, 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 STDs, 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.
  • Alaska 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

  • People of any age, including teens, can buy condoms from a drugstore, pharmacy, grocery store or even online. A pack of twelve condoms costs about $12. Internal or 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.
  • Always check the expiration date on condoms to make sure that the condoms haven’t expired yet. For information on how to use a condom correctly, check out this FAQ. Learn all about internal/female condoms on Sexetc.org.
Birth Control

Birth Control

  • In Alaska, minors can get a prescription for birth control without a parent’s permission.
  • 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 options counseling and testing for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, 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.
  • Use this tool to find a Title X clinic near you:
  • Or call 1-800-230-PLAN (7526) for the nearest Planned Parenthood.
  • If you go to a private doctor or physician, then you need to ask them about their confidentiality policy when you are making the appointment. When you call, ask:
    • 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 or guardian must be notified before you can get one. This is called “parental notification.” If that’s not possible, you are to notify a judge. This is called “judicial bypass.”
  • You do not need parental notification if you are receiving an abortion because of abuse, assault, incest or neglect. You can get an abortion without asking your parent/s or guardian for permission. This is because a law that would have required parental consent has been permanently blocked by the courts. Ask your abortion provider for the latest information, or 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).
  • Alaska requires those seeking an abortion are counseled with information about abortion, including information meant to discourage abortion.
  • There is no mandatory waiting period in Alaska before a teen can get an abortion.
  • Alaska provides Medicaid coverage for medically necessary abortions. 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) or click here. The hotline can tell you where and how to get financial help for an abortion in the U.S.

Adoption

  • To learn about the process of adoption and the services available, visit the
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.
  • You can call 1-800-230-PLAN (7526) for the nearest Planned Parenthood.
  • If you pay for your visit by using your family’s health insurance, your parents are likely to see the details of your visit when the bill arrives. Almost all clinics provide free or reduced-cost services to teens to make it easier to afford services.
  • 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 so-called crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs). These centers claim to give you complete and accurate information about your pregnancy options when they actually want 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.” They are often set up near clinics and Planned Parenthood locations in order to confuse patients to accidentally enter the CPC instead.
Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception

  • There are several types—or “brands”—of emergency contraception, sometimes called EC or the morning after pill.
  • People of any age can buy the brand Plan B One Step and its generic versions at a local pharmacy over the counter. You have to go to the pharmacy counter for other versions of emergency contraception.
  • EC sells for between $35 and $60. Prices vary depending on the brand and the pharmacy.
  • To find a provider or clinic near you, call the Emergency Contraception Hotline at 1-888-NOT-2-LATE (668-2528).
  • 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 Web site.
Sexting

Sexting

  • There are no laws in Alaska specifically regarding sexting. But child pornography laws make it illegal to share images of people under 18 with others, even if the other person (or people) involved is also under 18.
Sources

“Alaska,” Siecus State Profile 2015, Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), Accessed February 2017.

“Alaska Code of Teaching Standards,” Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, October 2000. https://education.alaska.gov/teachercertification/20AAC10.html Accessed April 2017.

“Anonymous HIV Testing Conducted by Health Departments, 2015,” Kaiser Family Foundation, June 2016. http://kff.org/hivaids/fact-sheet/hiv-testing-in-the-united-states/ Accessed February 2017.

“Bills and Laws,” The Alaska State Legislature. April 2017. http://www.akleg.gov/ Accessed April 2017

“Counseling and Waiting Periods for Abortion,” The Alan Guttmacher Institute, April 2017. https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/counseling-and-waiting-periods-abortion Accessed April 2017.

“Emancipation of Minors – Laws,” Cornell University Law School. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/table_emancipation. Accessed February 2017.

“An Overview of Minors’ Consent Laws,” State Policies in Brief, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, April 2017. https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/overview-minors-consent-law Accessed April 2017.

“Emergency Contraception,” The Alan Guttmacher Institute, April 2017. https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/emergency-contraception Accessed April 2017.

“Minors’ Access to Contraceptive Services,” The Alan Guttmacher Institute, April 2017. https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/minors-access-contraceptive-services Accessed February 2016.

“State Facts About Abortion: Alaska,” The Alan Guttmacher Institute, January 2017. https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/state-facts-about-abortion-alaska Accessed April 2017.

“State Funding of Abortions Under Medicaid,” The Alan Guttmacher Institute, April 2017. https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/state-funding-abortion-under-medicaid Accessed April 2017.

“State Hate Crimes Statutory Provisions,” Anti-Defamation League, September 2014. https://www.adl.org/sites/default/files/documents/assets/pdf/combating-hate/2014-adl-updated-state-hate-crime-statutes.pdf Accessed April 2017.

“State Laws,” US Department of Health & Human Services. https://aspe.hhs.gov/report/state-laws Accessed April 2017.

“States-Regions: Alaska,” Lambda Legal. http://www.lambdalegal.org/states-regions/alaska Accessed April 2017.

“State Sex and HIV Education Policy,” The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, March 2017. http://kff.org/hivaids/state-indicator/sexhiv-education-policy/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D Accessed April 2017.

“Title X Family Planning Clinics,” Health Resources & Services Administration. https://gettested.cdc.gov/ Accessed April 2017.

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