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.
Sex ed Rights
- Oklahoma state law does not require schools to provide sex education. Local school boards decide whether to teach sex ed, which subjects this education must cover and the grade level in which topics are introduced.
- If sex ed is taught, abstinence must be stressed as the only completely effective protection against unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and HIV/AIDS when transmitted sexually
- Teaching about contraceptives, such as condoms or the Pill, is not required.
HIV/AIDS and Other STDs Education
- Oklahoma state law requires STDs and HIV/AIDS education is taught in schools.
- The information must be medically accurate.
- HIV/AIDS education classes are required to teach teens “among other things, engaging in homosexual activity is primarily responsible for contact with the AIDS virus.” Think this law is discriminatory? Check out the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)website to see how you can help change this policy.
- Although a parent or guardian’s permission for their child or children to participate in sex ed or HIV/AIDS education classes in Oklahoma is not necessary, parents or guardians can take their children out of these classes.
- If you want your school to offer comprehensive sex ed classes, be sure to learn more at SIECUS about your state. You can make a difference!
Age of Minority
- In Oklahoma, as with most states, you are considered a minor (someone who is not an adult) if you are under 18 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!
Age of Consent
- Legally, people can’t consent (or agree) to sex (with someone who is considered an adult) until they reach a specific age. This is called the “age of consent.”Consent laws are meant to protect minors from being manipulated or forced into sex with older people.
- Laws about consent may be different depending on the type of sex—vaginal, anal or oral—and the genders of those having sex.
- The age of consent in Oklahoma is 16.
- In Oklahoma, there is a statewide anti-bullying law to protect students, but it does not include specific protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- There are no statewide anti-discrimination laws that clearly include sexual orientation or gender identity.
- State hate crimes laws also do not include sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Oklahoma also has what’s known as a “Don’t Say Gay” law, which restricts teachers and school staff from talking about LGBTQ issues and people.
- 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 discrimination or harassment!
HIV / AIDS Testing
- In Oklahoma, teens don’t need permission from your parent or guardian to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV or to consent to treatment. However, your physician may (but is not required to) inform your parent/guardian.
- If you’re under 18, it’s especially 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 infections, including HIV.
- 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).
- 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.
- A minor in Oklahoma can get a prescription for birth control without a parent’s permission, under one or more of the following situations:
- is married
- is or has ever been pregnant
- Other minors are to get a parent’s permission to receive a prescription for birth control. Additionally, physicians may (but are not required to) inform minors’ parents/guardian.
- Clinics called “Title X clinics”—pronounced “title ten”—provide confidential 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.
- 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.
- Call 1-800-230-PLAN (7526) for the nearest Planned Parenthood.
- Or use this tool to find a Title X clinic near you:
- When you make an appointment for health care, ask about confidentiality rules. 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 you are under or over 18 years old and want an abortion, you are required to ask your parent/s or guardian for permission, and tell them. This is called “parental consent” and “parental notification.” You are required to then get written permission for the abortion. If speaking with your parents and getting permission for an abortion is 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.”
- There is a 72-hour mandatory waiting period in Oklahoma before someone can get an abortion.
- Oklahoma provides Medicaid (health care) coverage for abortion only in cases of a medical emergency, life endangerment to the pregnant person or if the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest.
- If you need more information on abortion or 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).
- To learn about adoption, visit the National Council for Adoption.
- 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-cost pregnancy tests.
- Visits to clinics known as Title X (ten) clinics are confidential for teens and adults.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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, which means you can buy EC without a prescription.
- EC sells for between $35 and $60. Prices vary depending on the brand and the pharmacy.
- To find an EC provider, call the Emergency Contraception Hotline at 1-888-NOT-2-LATE (668-2528). They can help you find access to EC if you’re having any trouble at all.
- Oklahoma does not require emergency rooms to provide EC or information on EC to rape survivors.
- If you have been raped and you want EC, 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.
- According to Oklahoma law, it is illegal for anyone to send through any use of technology something that is about sexual conduct with a minor.
- For teens sexting, a court can send the teen to an educational program about the legal and other consequences of sexting as and with a minor. The law in Oklahoma also protects teens who have been sent sexts they didn’t want from being charged with child pornography crimes.
“An Overview of Abortion Laws,” State Laws and Policies,” Guttmacher Institute, December 2017, https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/overview-abortion-laws Accessed December 2017.
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“Minors’ Access to Contraceptive Services,” State Laws and Policies, Guttmacher Institute, December 2017, https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/minors-access-contraceptive-services Accessed December 2017.
“Minors’ Access to STI Services,” State Laws and Policies, Guttmacher Institute, December 2017, https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/minors-access-sti-services Accessed December 2017.
“Parental Consent and Notification Laws,” Planned Parenthood, 2017, https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/teens/preventing-pregnancy-stds/parental-consent-and-notification-laws Accessed December 2017.
“Parental Involvement in Minors’ Abortions,” State Laws and Policies, Guttmacher Institute, December 2017, https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/parental-involvement-minors-abortions Accessed December 2017.
“Refusing to Provide Health Services,” State Laws and Policies, Guttmacher Institute, December 2017, https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/refusing-provide-health-services Accessed December 2017.
“Safe Schools Laws,” Movement Advancement Project, 2017, http://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/safe_school_laws Accessed December 2017.
“Sex and HIV Education,” State Laws and Policies, Guttmacher Institute, December 2017, https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/sex-and-hiv-education Accessed December 2017.
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“State Laws and Policies Across the United States,” SIECUS, www.siecus.org, 2017, Accessed December 2017.
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“Family Planning,” Oklahoma State Department of Health, 2017, https://www.ok.gov/health Accessed December 2017.
“The Laws in Your State: Oklahoma,” RAINN, December 2016, https://www.rainn.org/laws-your-state-oklahoma Accessed December 2017.