policies

Age of Consent

Legally, people can’t consent (or agree) to sex 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.

In Kansas, you can consent to sex when you become 16 years old.

Sex Under Age of Consent

Having sex with someone under age 16, even if they give their consent, is considered statutory rape in Kansas. However, Kansas has a so-called “Romeo and Juliet” law that makes the penalty for statutory rape less severe when the case involves two teenagers. The “Romeo and Juliet” law reads: “(a) Unlawful voluntary sexual relations is engaging in voluntary: (1) sexual intercourse; (2) sodomy; or (3) lewd fondling or touching with a child who is 14 years of age but less than 16 years of age and the offender is less than 19 years of age and less than four years of age older than the child and child and the offender are the only parties involved and are members of the opposite sex.”

Sexting

In Kansas, teen couples or sexual partners can be arrested for sharing sexts. This is true even if you are sharing images of yourself.

Be aware that having someone’s permission to take or share images of them is important, but even if you have permission, taking or sharing nude or sexual images of someone under 18, even yourself, could be considered illegal.

Read: U.S. Teen Birth Rate Has Fallen Dramatically

HIV / AIDS/std Testing

In Kansas, teens don’t need permission from their parent or guardian to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or HIV. Health care providers may—but are not required to—let parent or guardian know about STD services minors receive.

It’s important for youth to ask questions about confidentiality when they 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?”

Birth Control

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 youth pay for their visit by using their family’s health insurance, then parents are likely to see the bill when it arrives in the mail.

Abortion Rights

There are a lot of laws related to abortion and teens in Kansas and it can be confusing!

Kansas requires that both parents, legal guardians or the parent who has primary custody provide written consent for those 17 and under to get an abortion. The consent must be notarized—meaning you need a specially licensed person called a notary public to witness the document that provides consent.

If you can’t get your parents’ consent or if that is not right for you, you can ask for a judge’s permission if you need an abortion due to an emergency. This is called a “judicial bypass.” If you need a judicial bypass, ask about it when you call the abortion provider.

In Kansas, there is a 24-hour waiting period before someone can get an abortion.

Kansas provides Medicaid (health care) coverage for abortions only in cases of rape, incest and when the pregnant person’s life is in danger.

Emergency Contraception

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.

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