Florida Organizations Release First-Ever Legal Guide for Pregnant Teens

Affiliate: ACLU of Florida
June 30, 2009 12:00 am

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Guide Sheds Light on Issues Faced by Pregnant Teens

CONTACT: media@aclufl.org

MIAMI – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida announces the release of The Legal Guide for Pregnant Teens in Florida, an all-inclusive resource for teens about their legal rights as pregnant and parenting minors. The guide is the result of collaborative work by several organizations and individuals, and is designed to address many of the issues faced by pregnant teens in Florida. It can be downloaded online at: www.aclufl.org/2009teen_legal_guide.cfm.

Topics in the guide range from information about reproductive options to school attendance, housing, and relationship issues, with emphasis on information about pregnancy, abortion, adoption, and parenting. The guide is intentionally neutral on the choices a pregnant teen has to make, and whenever possible, teens are directed to hotlines and websites that will guide her to resources in her community, such as Healthy Start or Planned Parenthood that can provide the help she needs.

“Having a resource available to teens will greatly aid them in seeking the information necessary for them,” said corporate attorney Bonnie Davis, who led the project. “By providing this comprehensive handbook, pregnant and parenting teens will be able to make informed decisions and better prepare themselves.”

The Legal Guide for Pregnant Teens in Florida is the collaborative work of many volunteer lawyers and other professionals concerned about the health and well-being of Florida’s teenagers. Cooperating organizations include the Capital Area Healthy Start Coalition, Planned Parenthood, and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Florida. Volunteers from the organizations collected and assembled the research for the guide.

“The information in this guide is critical for the health and well-being of our children in Florida, and we are pleased to be able to help bring this guide to fruition,” said Maria Kayanan, ACLU of Florida Associate Legal Director. “Teens shouldn’t be forced into an information vacuum about their rights, and this guide will provide the answers to questions facing many teens in our state.”

The printing of this guide was made possible thanks to generous grants provided to the ACLU Foundation of Florida by the Florida Bar Foundation and the Joseph H. and Florence A. Roblee Foundation. Copies have been provided to the Clerk of Court, public school superintendents, The Florida Health Department, and Public Defender’s Offices in every judicial circuit in Florida.

Principal outlets for distribution are the Florida Network for Youth and Family Services, Healthy Start Coalitions, and Planned Parenthood offices. There are a limited number of physical copies available.

The Legal Guide for Pregnant Teens in Florida is available online at: www.aclufl.org/2009teen_legal_guide.cfm.

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