Title 23
Health and Safety

Chapter 4.7
Informed Consent for Abortion

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-4.7-6

§ 23-4.7-6. Minors — Parental consent — Judicial proceedings.

Except in the case of a minor who has been found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be emancipated, if a pregnant woman is less than eighteen (18) years of age and has not married, an abortion shall not be performed upon her unless both the consent of the pregnant woman and that of at least one of her parents is obtained, except as provided in this section. In deciding whether to grant consent, a pregnant woman’s parents shall consider only their child’s best interests. If both parents have died or are otherwise unavailable to the physician within a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner, consent of the pregnant woman’s legal guardian or one of her guardians shall be sufficient. If a pregnant woman less than eighteen (18) years of age has not married and if neither of her parents or guardians agree to consent to the performance of an abortion, or if she elects not to seek the consent of either of her parents or guardians, a judge of the family court shall, upon petition, or motion, and after an appropriate hearing, authorize a physician to perform the abortion, if the judge determines that the pregnant woman is mature and capable of giving informed consent to the proposed abortion or if the judge determines that she is not mature, but that the performance of an abortion upon her would be in her best interests. A pregnant woman less than eighteen (18) years of age may participate in proceedings in the family court on her own behalf, and she shall be represented in her proceeding by a guardian ad litem. Proceedings in the family court under this section shall be confidential and shall be given such precedence over other pending matters that the court may reach a decision promptly and without delay so as to serve the best interests of the pregnant woman. A judge of the family court who conducts proceedings under this section shall make in writing specific factual findings and legal conclusions supporting his or her decision and shall order a record of the evidence to be maintained including his or her own findings and conclusions.

History of Section.
P.L. 1982, ch. 323, § 2.