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Policy & Politics

North Carolina Bill Regarding Minors' Health Care, Privacy Spurs Debate

April 29, 2013

North Carolina lawmakers, led by Sen. Buck Newton (R-Wilson County) and Sen. Warren Daniel (R-Burke and Cleveland counties), have introduced Senate Bill 675 (SB 675), which would require minors to get written permission from their parents or guardians before obtaining any healthcare related to contraceptives, STDs, pregnancy, mental health issues, or substance abuse treatment. The North Carolina Senate healthcare committee is now considering the bill. The Wilson County Board of Health and the N.C. Association of Local Health Directors oppose SB 675.

Proponents of the bill, which is supported by the North Carolina Values Coalition, claim SB 675 will reclaim the rights of parents to control healthcare decisions for their children. Coalition Executive Director Tami Fitzgerald questioned why parents must give permission for teenagers' driving permits, field trips, or participation in sports, but not medical decisions related to pregnancy, STD treatment, or substance abuse.

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