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View Full Version : Regarding Teens: Vocabulary & Abortion



PGK
01-21-2011, 07:47 PM
I have two questions that I thought I'd make in a single post.

My first one:

What is the standard vocabulary of a modern girl aged 15-17? I'm not interested in an in depth analysis, just a general concept of how different things are now.

For example I've been hearing the word "chillax" (chill out + relax) used a lot, but I don't know how prevalent this is. Do they (you?) still say something is "cool" or has that gone out of fashion? Things like that. My MC is somewhere around that age and I don't want her sounding like a Hollywood version of reality. I'm keeping her speech rather generic (I'm not going for an over the top exhibition of my super groovy knowledge of teen "lingo" ), but I also don't want her saying something completely foreign (or uncool) by modern standards.

My second question:

If a teenage girl is pregnant and wants an abortion can she get one without parental consent or knowledge? Does this depend on the age (15 versus 16, or 17)? Does it depend on the state, or is it federal? Where does money/insurance come into play? If consent is needed, must it be a legal guardian or can it be any adult family member? And lastly, what would the process be? (So for example, after the pregnancy test shows positive would she go to a gyno who would then refer her to a Planed Parenthood clinic or a hospital?)

Smish
01-21-2011, 08:01 PM
1) Teen lingo changes quickly, and varies greatly from place to place, so generally speaking, writers should keep it to a minimum. I do a lot of work with teens, and where I live, they don't say "chillax". Read some current contemporary YA novels for an idea of what's appropriate.

2) I believe this varies from state to state. I found this in a quick google search: Abortion Laws for Teens by State (http://parentingteens.about.com/od/teenpregfact/a/abortion_laws.htm). You could maybe use it as a guideline, but do additional research to check for accuracy. If nothing else, you could probably call Planned Parenthood in your particular state for information.

PinkAmy
01-21-2011, 08:02 PM
I can answer the second question.
In some states, parental consent is mandatory, others, not so much. Realistically, a teenage girl in the USA can get a legal abortion anywhere in the USA (though she might to have to do some wrangling like getting a fake ID or going underground to an understanding doctor). Abortion is federally legal, but some states have drastically limited the access and rights. Planned Parenthood does abortions, but so do many private doctors, clinics and hospitals. In some states there are only a handful of places that do abortions, so a person would have to travel far, teen or not a teen. In cases where parental notification is necessary, this can sometimes go through the courts instead if the teen doesn't want her parents notified (for instance if she fears abuse).
Most pregnant teens aren't going to go to the gyno, they'll go straight to Planned Parenthood (which provides a comprehensive gyno services) because PP will see them for free without insurance. I'm in PA, where parents are supposed to be notified. I took a teen there for birth control and she didn't need ID or insurance. She didn't even need me there except for moral support. She was given a prescription and sample pills even though she was 15 or 16.
With so many family members having different last names, proof of relationship is often hard to prove. Birth certificates can be made with a good printer, though I'm not even sure they would ever be needed.
There are underground groups who insure that all women (including teenagers) have access to abortions by licensed doctors.
If you want your character to get an abortion- you can make almost every scenario work, though if it's a later term abortion there would be more difficulty (though it's not impossible).

PinkAmy
01-21-2011, 08:03 PM
2) I believe this varies from state to state. I found this in a quick google search: Abortion Laws for Teens by State (http://parentingteens.about.com/od/teenpregfact/a/abortion_laws.htm). You could maybe use it as a guideline, but do additional research to check for accuracy. If nothing else, you could probably call Planned Parenthood in your particular state for information.

Great link! PM me if you need a scenario outside of the letter of the law ;).