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June 01, 2015

New website provides sexting 101, other health rights info for teens

ACLU creates 'Your Body, Your Rights' as resource for Pa. teens

Health News Sexting
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iPhones and other smart phones changing the way we communicate.

Question: If my boyfriend/girlfriend and I like to sext each other and trust each other, do the sexting laws apply to us?

Answer: Yes. In Pennsylvania, the laws apply to anyone under 18, regardless of relationship status. 

Laws regarding teenagers and their health and safety can be confusing. So the state chapter of the ACLU hopes to clear up any misconceptions with the launch of its new, teen-friendly website, "Your Body, Your Rights."

"We really wanted to take this complex legal information and distill it for a 14- to 17-year-old audience to make sure that they understood their rights and they would seek the health care that they needed," Julie Zaebst, project manager for the organization's Clara Bell Duvall Reproductive Freedom Project, which developed the site, told Newsworks.

The site provides teens with clear information regarding their health rights and includes information on birth control, pregnancy, STD testing, sexual assault, mental health and drug or alcohol abuse. 

There are also resources regarding sexting and dating violence. Teens can read a breakdown of sexting definitions, as well as a flowchart explaining the legal consequences of sexting.

Finally, the "Teen Stories" page provides short examples of other young people in similar situations. The excerpts serve as illustrations on how to handle certain issues that may arise.

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