Senate OKs ban on birth control, STD treatment without parent OK - East Valley Tribune: Politics

Senate OKs ban on birth control, STD treatment without parent OK

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Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 9:31 am | Updated: 3:27 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

State senators voted Monday to bar minors from getting birth control prescriptions or treatment for sexually transmitted diseases without parental permission.

State senators voted Monday to bar minors from getting birth control prescriptions or treatment for sexually transmitted diseases without parental permission.

SB 1305, approved on a 16-13 margin, also imposes similar restrictions on mental health screening or treatment. And it spells out that parental consent is required for sex education courses.

Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake, said the legislation, which now goes to the House, is in the best interests of children. She said her own experience proves that to be the case.

“I had their moral, spiritual, emotional well-being at hand and worked as hard as I could to be a good parent,’’ Allen said. “Government has no business interfering in that bond between a parent and a child.’’

But Sen. Paula Aboud, D-Tucson, said the measure will violate the privacy of minors.

“I recognize that we want all minors, whenever possible, when their safety is involved particularly, to be able to have the discussions they need with parents,’’ she said. But Aboud said there are many teens whose parents don’t know they are sexually active.

“Talking to their parents could jeopardize their personal safety within their sacred families,’’ Aboud said. This legislation, she said, means they won’t get the health care they need.

Sen. Debbie McCune Davis, D-Phoenix, said the section on mental health means that some teens won’t get the help they need. In fact, she said, it makes it a criminal offense to help a teen get that help.

She noted there is an exception in cases of emergency. But McCune Davis said that’s not much of an answer.

“Why do we have to take adolescents to the brink of an emergency before we allow them to seek out help on their own?’’ she said.

And Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Tucson, said the measure would require a teen who is the victim of incest to get consent for treatment of a sexually transmitted disease from the parent who assaulted her in the first place.

But Sen. David Braswell, R-Phoenix, said the state should not be setting policy based on a small percentage of “bad’’ parents.

“The majority of parents are loving, understanding, caring advocates on behalf of their children,’’ he said.

Sen. Chuck Gray, R-Mesa, said existing law already sets up procedures for notifying authorities when a teen who has been the victim of assault or abuse. At that point, he said, the parent loses the right to consent to or refuse to provide medical or mental health treatment.

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