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California Abortion Laws

California abortion laws are less restrictive than those in many other states, which often impose long waiting periods, consent requirements, strict facility codes, and other statutory obstacles. The Golden State allows nurse midwives and other non-physician medical professionals (with the proper training) to perform the procedure. But all states, including California, have some abortion restrictions. For instance, California requires unemancipated minors to seek parental consent before getting an abortion.

The table below lists the basic provisions of California abortion laws. See Abortion Laws and Abortion Rights FAQs to learn more.

Code Section Health & Safety §§123460 et seq., 123450
Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion Performed by unauthorized person
Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion Any medical treatment intended to induce the termination of a pregnancy except for the purpose of producing a live birth
Penalty for Unlawful Abortion In case of unemancipated minor: misdemeanor, fine up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment in county jail up to 30 days
Consent Requirements In case of unemancipated minor, written consent of minor and one parent or legal guardian, or by order of petition to Juvenile Court or in a medical emergency requiring immediate medical attention
Residency Requirements for Patients -
Physician Licensing Requirements Approved hospital and unanimous approval of medical committee of hospital (unless the health of mother impaired or rape or incest); certified physician/surgeons; nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, and physicians' assistants who complete specified training.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a California constitutional law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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California Abortion Laws: Related Resources

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