New CA Law Allows Minors to Obtain Preventative Treatment for Sexually Transmitted Diseases without Parental Consent

A new Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) law in California gives children ages 12 or older the right to seek and obtain preventative treatment absent parental consent.  Among these preventative treatments is the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) immunization for cervical cancer.  The dangers of contracting HPV has become more and more known, especially regarding younger and younger children.  According to the New York Times, new research has found that through HPV transmissions, oral sex can cause throat cancer.  So, now, to get preventative treatment all a minor age 12 or older needs is to find a way to get to the doctor or clinic.,r:7,s:0&tx=74&ty=54

Does the state have the authority to take a minor’s sexual health decisions out of the hands of parents?  Hopefully the Supreme Court will get to review this legislation in the near future.  The California law seems to be at odds with generally accepted principles of family privacy.  California may have interfered with parental rights to the care, custody, and control of their child.  There are striking similarities between the new California law and the ever-controversial debate regarding a woman’s right to choose abortion.

Minors already have the right to get diagnosis and treatment for STD’s without parental consent.  This law protects minors who wouldn’t be able to ask their parents for consent to get preventative STD treatment (which is probably most minors); the law allows minors to make a decision not only about their sex life, but also about their own personal safety.  Minors who do this without their parent’s consent are nonetheless acting responsibly, right? … <Read More>

Abortions Based on Sex or Race: Controversial Categories of Criminalized Abortion March 29, 2011, Arizona became the first state to make abortions based on sex or race a felony, but a major discussion point is that there does not seem to be any evidence that these banned “selective abortions” are actually happening.

Most abortions take place before doctors can determine the sex of a fetus. As for race, Republican lawmakers argued the law was needed because a large percentage of abortions are sought by minority women, implying that minority women abort fetuses due to their race. That’s some serious twisting of logic. The higher number of abortions among minorities probably has much to do low access to birth control or a higher rate of poverty.

So what’s the real motivation for the law? Opponents argue the intention is to create obstacles for minorities seeking abortion. And by creating categories of criminalized abortions, all Arizona women might now have to justify their abortions. It also gives rights to a fetus which opens the door for criminalizing abortion in general.  A statement from the governor’s spokesperson on the law suggests that’s the goal, “Governor Brewer believes society has the responsibility to protect its most vulnerable, the unborn.”

What do we make of the new law?  Do we want a law like this to come to New York?… <Read More>