Parental Notification as a Prerequisite for Minors’ Access to Contraceptives: A Behavioral and Legal Analysis

This article examines whether the constitutional right of parents to determine what is best for their children prevents the state from permitting minors access to contraceptives without notifying their parents. Part I examines the effect of the presence or absence of a notice requirement upon the interests of parents, minors, and the state. Part II reviews the development of the constitutional right of privacy and the impact of parental rights and state interests on the extension of privacy rights to minors. Part ill considers the manner in which the interests of minors, parents, and the state should be balanced. The article concludes that statutes requiring prior parental notification of minors’ decisions to procure contraceptives do not effectively protect parental or state interests and unconstitutionally burden the minors’ right of privacy.