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North Carolina Lawmakers Deem Medical Care ‘Inappropriate’ For Minors

May 8, 2013

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you need the law to make your teen communicate with you, it’s already too late and you need to get out of the way. Also: when a child is old enough to have children of their own, your say over what medical care they get for their body is reduced to an advisory capacity. And yes, I say this as the mother of a young girl who for all I know, may one day, for whatever reason, not feel comfortable talking to me about her reproductive health. I hope this is not the case, but am I also grateful that my state (California) will still permit my daughter to access the care she needs in a manner most comfortable for her.

This has always been my position when it comes to parental consent laws for abortion services. If we lived in most states my daughter wouldn’t have that comfort: 37 states have and enforce either parental notice or parental consent laws for a minor wishing to receive an abortion.  These laws are pushed by a robust ‘parental rights’ movement which is really nothing more than a throw-back to the days when a woman was the property of her father until she became the property of her husband. Because let’s be frank, the bulk of action on the parental rights front is not aimed at boys.

The movement long ago secured a parental consent law for abortion in North Carolina, and now they’re moving to do the same for other medical services they deem ‘inappropriate’ for minors:

measure advancing in the North Carolina legislature would require teens to obtain notarized, written parental consent in order to access a range of health services, including testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, birth control prescriptions, pregnancy care, mental health counseling, and substance abuse treatment. HB 693 seeks to amend the state’s existing parental consent law — which already prevents teens from getting an abortion without permission from their parents — to extend to a broader range of medical care that lawmakers have deemed potentially inappropriate for minors.

[…]The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Chris Whitmire (R), claims it will simply help prevent “problems” from being repeated by involving parents in teens’ health decisions from the beginning. Other supporters of HB 693 argue that it will help “restore parental rights and lines of communication within families.”

(Think Progress – emphasis mine)

Well surely that will advance the cause of community health, while at the same time mending broken lines of familial communication! Right? Nothing like getting the law to either force your kid to talk to you or else suffer physical harm. *sigh*

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