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.

Connecticut

Sex Ed

Sex ed Rights

  • Connecticut state law does not require schools to teach sex ed. Each local school board may decide whether sex ed is taught.
  • Connecticut law requires schools teach students about human growth and development and disease prevention. HIV/AIDS education is also required.
  • Schools may teach about contraceptives, such as condoms or the Pill, but they aren’t required to.
  • Teens do not need parental permission to participate in sex ed or HIV/AIDS education classes, but with written notification, parents can remove their children from the classes if they wish you.
  • Connecticut chose not to apply for federal funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in 2015.

Age of Minority

17

  • In Connecticut, you are considered a minor (someone who is not an adult) if you are under 18.
  • In Connecticut, you are considered a minor (someone who is not an adult) if you are under 18.
  • Laws about whether you’re considered a minor may be different if you are a minor who has gained the right to live without a parent or guardian, are pregnant or are married.
lgbtq rights

LGBTQ Rights

  • Public schools in Connecticut have a 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.
  • There are also anti-bullying laws to protect LGBTQ public school students. These laws, though, don’t apply to private, non-religious schools.
  • 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 a parent or guardian to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV in Connecticut or to receive treatment. However, if you are younger than 12, the physician must report a positive STD test result.
  • If you are a minor, it is very important for you to ask questions about confidentiality when you call to make an 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?”
  • 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.
  • Connecticut 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 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 can buy condoms from a drugstore, pharmacy, grocery store or even online. A 12-pack of 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 Connecticut, teens are allowed to get a prescription for birth control without a parent’s permission.
  • Clinics called “Title X clinics”—pronounced “title ten”—provide sexual and reproductive health care to both teens and adults. Title X clinics offer many services, including prescriptions for the Pill, pregnancy option counseling, and testing for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and infections, including HIV.
  • If you go to a Title X clinic, your appointment will be completely confidential.
  • These clinics charge on what’s called a sliding-scale fee basis, which means they help you pay what you can afford, 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.
  • Call 1-800-230-PLAN (7526) for the nearest Planned Parenthood or use this tool to find a Title X clinic near you:

  • It’s a good idea to ask the health care provider about their confidentiality rules when you are making the appointment. Ask:
    • Can I get services at your office without my parents’ permission?
    • Will my parent/s have access to my records?
    • Will my parent/s see the bill?
Abortion Rights

Abortion Rights

  • Connecticut does not have the major types of abortion restrictions many other states have:
  • A teen in Connecticut does not have to get their parents’ permission to get an abortion.
  • There is no mandatory waiting period in Connecticut before someone can get an abortion.
  • Connecticut provides Medicaid (health care) 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). The hotline can tell you where and how to get financial help for an abortion in the U.S.
  • To learn about adoption, visit the National Council for Adoption.
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.
  • Call 1-800-230-PLAN (7526) for the nearest Planned Parenthood or use this tool to find a Title X clinic near you:

  • If you pay for your visit by using your family’s health insurance, then your parents are likely to see the bill. Almost all clinics provide free or sliding-scale fee services to teens to make it easier to afford visits.
  • To make sure your visit is confidential, tell the clinic staff how to contact you privately about test results and future appointments.
  • 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 to confuse patients to accidentally enter the CPC instead.
Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception

  • People of any age can buy emergency contraception (EC) at a local pharmacy. In Connecticut, pharmacists or pharmacies may be able to refuse to administer because there are no state laws stating that girls under 17 can get emergency contraception without a prescription.
  • Girls under 17 can get EC from a health care provider. To find a provider or clinic near you, call the Emergency Contraception Hotline at 1-888-NOT-2-LATE (668-2528).
  • EC costs between $35-$60. Prices vary depending on the brand and the pharmacy.
  • In Connecticut, if you go to an emergency room after a sexual assault, that emergency room is required by law to give you information about EC and to provide EC if you ask for it.
  • 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

  • In Connecticut, the sexting laws are a little complicated, but it’s important to know that sexting between certain teens is a crime. Also, both the person who sends the sext and the one who has received it could be committing a serious crime.
Sources

“10 Top States With Legal Protections for LGBT and HIV+ People,” Lambda Legal, October 2016. https://www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20161018_10-top-states-for-lgbt-hiv-people Accessed December 2017.

“An Overview of Minors’ Consent Law,” The Alan Guttmacher Institute, May 2017, https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/overview-minors-consent-law Accessed May 2017.

“Connecticut,” SIECUS State Profile, Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). Accessed December 2017.

“Counseling and Waiting Periods for Abortions,” State Policies in Brief, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, June 2017, https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/counseling-and-waiting-periods-abortion Accessed June 2017.

“Emergency Room Requirements to Offer Emergency Contraception Services to Sexual Assault Survivors,” Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, June 2017, https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/state-indicator/emergency-room-ec-requirements/ Accessed December 2017.

“Mandatory Waiting Periods For Women Seeking Abortion,” Kaiser Family Foundation, April 2017, https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/state-indicator/mandatory-waiting-periods/ Accessed December 2017.

“Minors’ Access to Contraceptive Services,” State Policies in Brief, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, December 2017, https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/minors-access-contraceptive-services Accessed December 2017.

“Minor’s Access to STI Services,” Guttmacher Institute, December 2017. https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/minors-access-sti-services Accessed December 2017.

“Parental Involvement in Minors’ Abortions,” State Policies in Brief, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, June 2017, https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/parental-involvement-minors-abortions Accessed June 2017.

“Sex and STI/HIV Education,” State Policies in Brief, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, June 2017, https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/sex-and-hiv-education Accessed June 2017.

“State Facts About Abortion: Connecticut,” The Alan Guttmacher Institute, June 2017, https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/state-facts-about-abortion-connecticut Accessed June 2017.

State Laws on Age Requirements and Sex. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, May 2017, https://aspe.hhs.gov/report/state-laws Accessed May 2017.

“States-Regions: Connecticut,” Lambda Legal, http://www.lambdalegal.org/states-regions/connecticut Accessed May 2017.

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

“The Laws in Your State: Connecticut,” RAINN, December 2016, https://www.rainn.org/laws-your-state-connecticut Accessed December 2017.

“Your Rights: Connecticut,” Know Your Rights, GLAD Legal Advocates & Defenders, 2017, https://www.glad.org/locations/connecticut/ Accessed June 2017.

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