N.C. birth control and STD bill 'most restrictive,' opponents say

May 8, 2013 at 8:00 PM

RALEIGH, N.C., May 8 (UPI) -- Opponents of a North Carolina House bill that would require teens to get parental approval for birth control say it would be the most restrictive in the nation.

The bill being considered in Raleigh would require minors seeking birth control or treatment for sexually transmitted diseases to show up at the doctor's office with a parent or guardian, or with notarized authorization, The (Raleigh) News & Observer reported Wednesday. The measure also reaffirms that same existing requirement for abortions.

Opponents of the bill said it would endanger teenagers' health, but supporters said it would restore parental control over their children's lives.

House Bill 693, if passed into law, would repeal a 40-year-old law allowing minors to seek such treatments without a parent's or guardian's consent.

Rep. Marilyn Avila, R-Raleigh, said laws like the current ones have been "undermining our families" for the past 20 or 30 years, and that what is needed is "less emphasis on individual children and more on the family."

But Rep. Verla Insko, D-Chapel Hill, said "there were real problems" in the 1970s when the laws were enacted.

"Teenagers were delaying treatment. They were getting sicker. They were spreading venereal disease, in some cases committing suicide because they could not talk to their parents," she said.

The vote passed the Health and Human Services Committee 14-8 and now goes to the full House.

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