Teen Health Care Bill
Tough rules for teen health care are being considered in Raleigh that would require written permission for treatment of health problems including sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy and substance abuse.
The bill was introduced by Representative Chis Whitmire of Brevard. He says it would put more responsibility in the hands of parents who he says need to face these family issues. Health officials say passage of this bill would remove the likelihood that many teens in trouble will even seek help.
House Bill 693 calls for anyone under 18 to provide notarized consent for health care involving STDs, pregnancy, drug abuse, even emotional issues. Under current law, consent is required for abortion only. Statistics show teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease rates are trending down. Public health officials say parental involvement is always a priority, but that the reality is often times young people don't feel comfortable taking such sensitive matters to mom and dad.
It's unclear when it might get a vote in the full House. But if it passes, it would be the strictest teen healthcare law in the country.