Minnesota GOP Wants to Cut Off Teen Access to Health Care

For years, teens in Minnesota have been able to access health care services like birth control, STI testing and treatment and chemical dependency treatment without necessarily needing their parents to be informed about their actions.  Now, the Republican Party wants to bring that to an end.

Angela Braun writes:

A GOP proposal before the Minnesota legislature wants to require minors to obtain written parental consent before having access to some basic young adult healthcare services. These services include pregnancy testing and birth control prescription, STD testing and chemical abuse help. If the proposal becomes law, it would overturn a four-decades old statute that allows minors to see a doctor without parental permission.

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

“Such a change would set Minnesota apart from most other states, according to one group that tracks sexual and reproductive health issues. And opponents warn the measure could prevent some young people from seeking care because they’re embarrassed or afraid to talk to their parents about their situation.

Minnesota’s current law prevents doctors from disclosing medical information to parents unless the patient agrees or the health issue poses immediate harm. The new proposal also would give parents access to their children’s medical records.

If the choice is between my child seeking to make him or herself healthy without my permission, or suffering because he or she is afraid to notify me about what is going on, I seriously hope my kids can get help.  I will always wants a health child over one that I know every private detail about.

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  • rebellious-grrl

    The GOP might as well call this, the “Father knows best” law. If passed this bill would remove legal protection for minors. 

    There is a video about the proposed legislation.

    Once again the GOP is obsessed with legislating social issues and morality. It’s all about power and control. This bill treats young women as if they are the property of the parents, or more specifically the patriarch.

    And furthermore ,

    In some cases minors NEED protection from their parent(s). The bill allows for a minor to go to court if they feel they are threatened, but that creates a huge barrier to access healthcare for minors. Minors shouldn’t have to go to court to access healthcare and be protected. It’s really sad the GOP is wasting their time on this.

    Thanks for covering this issue Robin. Bravo!

  • crowepps

    Failure to obtain and use birth control, STD’s left untreated and continuing to be spread, no prenatal care, babies dumped after birth, gay teens without counseling, drug use continuing instead of being treated —


    But of course, actually keeping teens alive and healthy isn’t anywhere near as important as punishing teens for daring to have sex.

  • crowepps

    The bill would make an exception for incest and sexual or physical abuse victims at the hands of a parent or guardian, but they would need to get a judge’s OK before seeing a doctor without parental consent. Donna Dunn, executive director of the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said taking time to go to court might make it impossible to get physical evidence proving the assault.



    I wonder if they have to get written permission from their abuser or incestuous rapist to ask for their teachers’ help or report those crimes to the cops?

  • katebrogan

    The Maine GOP has also filed a bill to require parental consent for minors to access contraception, STD treatment and other health care.  We’ve already had a public hearing, at which every single professional health organization opposed the bill – Doctors, pediatricians, OB/GYNs, nurses, NPs, Public heath, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, you name it.  Not to mention women’s health, the ACLU, etc.  But Parent’s Rights is the order of the day around here, so we’re worried that this thing might actually pass.  The first week of May, we have another public hearing on parental consent for minors seeking abortion services.  Because if you can’t get birth control without Daddy’s permission, why should you be able to get an abortion, right?

  • arekushieru

    If only they would extend that logic to giving birth or raising a child, too, eh?  *Sigh*