Illinois Law on Minors Seeking Confidential Health Services
Illinois law stipulates that youth 12 years of age and older can access sexual health services confidentially and without parental or caregiver consent or permission. Such services include contraception, pregnancy tests, sexually transmitted infections testing and treatment, services related to sexual assault and/or abuse, vaccinations, and abortion care. By law, Medicaid cannot send home a bill or explanation of benefits for sexual health services.
In accordance with the CPS Sexual Health Education Policy:
- Sexual Health Service Referrals - Schools must designate a staff member to provide sexual health service resources to students in alignment with local, state, and federal standards. Schools must provide information on how and where to access these confidential reproductive and sexual health services, in addition to mental health services.
- Condom Availability Program - Schools that teach grade 5th and up must make condoms available to students 12 years of ages and older in an ongoing effort to mitigate the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection, and unintended pregnancy among CPS students. Condoms are not to be distributed to all or select students but must be freely accessible to all students.
- Menstrual Hygiene Management - All schools must make menstrual hygiene products available, at no cost to students, in at least one bathroom in the school building. Schools are encouraged to make products available in all school bathrooms in schools serving students 4th through 12th grade.
Additional rights for CPS students
Pregnant and Parenting Youth - The Office of Student Protection and Title IX stipulates that pregnant students have the following rights:
- Remain in their school or transfer to a more accommodating school
- Remain in athletics/school related activities
- Access to elevator (if applicable)
- Access to snacks throughout the day
- Excused bathroom visits
- Access to a larger desk
- Counseling sessions
- Academic modifications
Parenting students have the following rights:
- Remain in the same academic standing they held before giving birth
- Excused absences related to medical reasons or childcare
- Schedule changes to assist with after-school employment
- Private room for lactation or pumping
- Freedom from discrimination and harassment
- Counseling sessions
Confidential Mental Health Services - Under the Consent by Minors to Health Care Services Act, or Illinois Public Act 410 ILCS 210, youth 12 years of age and older may consent to confidential outpatient counseling. If the minor is under 17, counseling sessions are initially limited to eight in number without parental consent. After that, minors can access additional sessions without parental consent are allowed only if the provider determines that obtaining such consent would be detrimental to the minor’s well-being.
School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) and some mobile providers provide a range of sexual and reproductive health services, including: birth control, pregnancy testing, and STI screening and treatment. Some School-Based Health Centers are open to students from other CPS schools and some are open to the community. To find a School-Based Health Center near you, view the CPS School-Based Health Center List or use the School-Based Health Center Map.
CPS also partners with the Chicago Department of Public Health and Planned Parenthood of Illinois to provide Project CHAT, sexual health education and chlamydia and gonorrhea screenings for CPS high schools. For more information, please visit chataboutit.org.
Title X clinics provide free or low-cost sexual health services, family planning, and preventative health services. Use this tool to find a Title X clinic near you.
The Chicago Department of Public Health Digital Community Resource Directory is a searchable database of local support services. Categories of resources include Family Planning and Pregnancy, Health Care, Personal Safety, and Hotlines and Helplines.