Minors: No Note, No Healthcare, GOP Says

Republican lawmakers want to make a note from Mom and Dad necessary for teens to see their doctors–or maybe even their school nurse.  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.”

Many opponents of such parental-consent laws feel that they are directly targeting school-based clinics  (which MN Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann labeled “sex clinics”). These SBHCs (School Based Health Clinics) are an expanding pro-child trend nationwide, and seek to provide much-needed healthcare services to the public school population. Services can include a bridge to confidential reproductive health services, though clinics also aim to provide much-needed basic acute health care and supportive medicine for ongoing illnesses to the overall student population.

Advocates for adolescent health also worry this bill will even further contribute to an already skyrocketing STI rate, as teens find fewer confidential resources for STI testing and treatment.

The MOAPPP (MN Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Prevention and Parenting) also warns, “There are serious concerns with the legal language of the bill, and the likely ramifications for teens in case of sexual assault, rape and incest.”

Related Stories:

13 Year Old Performs Abortion At Home: Time to Rethink Parental Notification Laws

Mass. School Says No More Condoms for First Graders

High School Bans Safe Sex Kits Because They Contain Condoms


Photo credit: dreamstime


Lika S.
Lika P4 years ago

Edvanir, you are right to mention that some kids don't have the family support needed, and children always need adult support. I have a really good connection with my son, and he shares almost everything with me. I wish ALL parents had this type of relationships with their kids, and many of the problem issues would go away.

Ken W.
Ken W4 years ago

The GOP is why we should have birth control and abortions THINK ABOUT IT !!!!!

Lynn Squance
Lynn S4 years ago

This is a tough question because it goes to the heart of the parent/child relationship. If the parent/child relationship is good and solid, and trust has been built up, the child will talk to the parent about any issues both before and after visits to school health services or a doctor. But too many parents are about control of the child. Too many parents are about parental rights first.

Minnesota is setting the lives of teens back. Marianne C makes very good points. In the case of familial rape, there are too many cases of complicity by the other parent. It may be a fear of retribution by the abusing parent, or willful blindness to the sexual abuse.

And what about a college student in the state that is still a minor yet their parents live far from the school or even out of state? What then?

This is just one more Republican/Teabagger assault on common sense and decency.

Edvanir L.
Edvanir L4 years ago

Lika S. wrote: "On the other hand, if my child is getting medical help for sex issues, if I'm going to pay for it, I should know what's going on".

Your kids are probably lucky for having you as their mother. The problem is that parent who support this bill don't want to know they kids are having a sexual life. They are using it as a way to make it harder for them.
The second point, for me, is the fact that many children are abuse by their parents. What is gonna happen in those cases??
This is CRAZY!!!

Edvanir L.
Edvanir L4 years ago

OF course Michele Bachmann would be behind such thing!
All this talk of small government is a lie. They are a bunch of hypocrites!

Terry V.
Terry V4 years ago


Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

When abuse is going on, the teenager ought to be able to access health care regardless of permission. On the other hand, if my child is getting medical help for sex issues, if I'm going to pay for it, I should know what's going on.

As a mother, I'm supposed to know my child better than anyone else. I'd hate for him to go on w/o my guidance, and I'm far from prude. We've already had the first talk, getting ready for part 2, and then again in a couple more years when he's a teenager.

I realize some kids are going to get involved with certain activities in the first place, but I guess it would be nice if more parents would be proactive with their kids rather than dictators or neglectful.

john hall
john hall6 years ago

Casey L. when you become a parent you will understand .

Casey Loufek
Casey Loufek6 years ago

I don't even understand why anyone would want this. The idea of "parent's rights" scares the crap out of me. Just because somebody spawned a child we suddenly give them god-like control over that life? These notions come from the same place as the idea of a husband owning their wife. The child's rights, as the individual most directly involved, and those of society, as the largest grouping of people, both trump the parents "rights".

Dodia Fae
Dodia Fae6 years ago

So many people are complaining that children (children!) who have to get parental consent won't if the parent's are abusive. What you're failing to realize is that children CAN, if their parents are abusive, get necessary medical attention. What is being proposed by so many of the people who are against the requirement of parental knowledge/consent fail to realize is that children are more likely to get this help through school, where the abuse is more likely to be reported to authorities who can get the children out of the abusive situations they're in.

I'm sure that those of you who don't have your heads in the sand have heard how Planned Parenthood has been neglecting to report child RAPE to authorities, effectively leaving those children (again, CHILDREN!) in those abusive situations... just sending them right back into them. Situations like that are just one of the many reasons that good, non-abusive parents MUST know when their children are taking prescriptions or getting procedures done that could seriously effect their health/well-being.