Some days, I wonder if the members of the General Assembly think it’s 1913 instead of 2013.
State representatives are now trying to pass a bill that would mandate parental involvement for young people under 18 seeking reproductive health care, mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment. In light of other developments this week (a bill to mandate a 2 year waiting period for couples seeking divorce and a law to establish an official religion of our state) this one may have flown under your radar.
But don’t be mislead, this bill is much more likely to pass than the other legislation proposed this week.
Lots of parents out there are really great at talking to their teenagers about reproductive health care. But even in the best of all hypothetical situations, some teenage sons or daughters are not going to feel comfortable talking to their parents about these issues. This bill creates yet another hurdle for those teens to jump over in order to seek treatment from a medical professional. It constitutes yet another barrier placed in the way of young people who may wish to seek out the health care that is their constitutional right, and may delay or deter teens from seeking earlier and safer care. Ultimately, this bill puts teenager’s health at risk.
Here’s our official statement:
Extreme legislators file bill putting teen health at risk
Senator Daniel and his colleagues in the Senate just filed another bill aimed at restricting young people’s access to reproductive health care.
SB 675 would deny NC young people access to confidential, life-saving health care including treatment for STIs, counseling, pregnancy prevention, and substance abuse resources. “Placing restrictions on a young people’s access to health care can delay them from seeking earlier, safer care, thus putting their health at risk,” said Suzanne Buckley, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina.
“Of course, most parents hope their teens will seek out their advice and support, but responsible parents want, above all, for them to be safe,” she added, “but these restrictions may delay or deter teens from seeking earlier and safer care—and ultimately put their health at risk.”
“We should be promoting policies that encourage teens to seek timely, professional health care—not ones that endanger their health,” Buckley said. The American Public Health Association, the Society for Adolescent Medicine, the American Medical Women’s Association, theAmerican College of Physicians, and the American Psychological Association agree, which is why all five organizations oppose mandatory parental involvement laws.
“At the end of the day, this legislation is bad for teens, bad for parents and plain bad public policy. We encourage legislators to stand up to this extreme and far-reaching agenda,” Buckley stated.