Senate Bill would require parental consent for medical services - WNCT

Senate Bill would require parental consent for STD, pregnancy tests

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Children and healthcare. There's an interesting debate in the state senate.

Right now, anyone under the age of 18 can get STD and pregnancy tests without their parents' consent. It's a law that's been in place since the 1970's.

A rise in STDs and suicides prompted lawmakers to allow medical exemptions for teens, especially when it comes to reproductive healthcare.

If passed, Bill 675 would change that.

Many parents we talked with say they have a right to know what's going on in their children's lives. While Pitt County Health Director, Dr. John Morrow agrees, he says a lot of children don't have parent figures in their lives.

"We've got children who are abused by their parents. We've got children whose parents are substance abusers themselves and prostitute their children. We don't want to put barriers in place to say you've got to have permission from your abusing parent to seek treatment. We're punishing a child," he said.

Doctors fear children who don't feel comfortable talking to parents about their sexual health may also delay treatment.  

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