Speak Up

What are rights?

Rights are legal, social, or moral powers to have or get something, or to do a specific thing.


Do I have rights?

If you are under 18, you may have feel or have been told that you do not have any rights. That’s not true. EVERYONE has rights, including youth.


What rights do the youth in DC have in terms of health?

DC has laws that make it easier for youth to access healthcare. In fact, youth of any age can obtain sexual and reproductive healthcare without parental consent:

  • Contraceptive services
  • Sexually transmitted disease (STD)
  • HIV testing and treatment
  • Pregnancy and prenatal care
  • Substance abuse treatment in an outpatient setting
  • Mental health counseling/treatment in an outpatient setting
  • Lawful termination of a pregnancy (abortion services)

Check out the District of Columbia Minors’ Rights to Health Services for more information.

Want more legal information about sex and sexual health in DC? Click here.


What rights protect LGBTQ youth in DC?

There are too many to list here, but the Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Affairs is a great resource. DC also has lots of organizations that are geared towards the LGBTQ community that you can find on our Healthcare Locator.

The DC Department of Motor Vehicles (DC DMV) offers gender-neutral driver’s licenses and ID cards.


What if I’m undocumented?

You have rights too! If you want to know more, find resources, or get involved, check out this list  for a list of youth-focused organizations around the DMV.

Regardless of age or immigration status, everyone in DC can get health insurance. Visit here for more information.

You can find DC-based organizations that provide services for the immigrant community in our Healthcare Locator.


What other rights should I know about?

The DC Human Rights Act  provides more protection against discrimination than any other state. This law covers anyone who lives, visits, or works here.