Congress Considers Parental Notification for Contraceptives
Young women may soon have to wait five days or more before obtaining contraceptives, so that their parents can be notified. On Tuesday, a bill known as the "Parents Right to Know Act" was introduced in both the US Senate and House of Representatives (S 1279, HR 3011). This legislation would require clinics receiving federal funds under Title X to notify the parents of any minors who seek contraception at least five days before writing a prescription. It does not demand parental consent, but allows no exceptions to the notification requirement.
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), who introduced the Senate legislation, said "this bill does nothing but put parents back in charge of their adolescent daughters," reports CNSNews. However, many fear that by increasing the hurdles to contraception, the law will cause young women to avoid reproductive health care, and be more likely to engage in unprotected sex. The Oklahoman reports that Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America responded to the legislation by saying that the "anti-birth control zealots behind this bill are determined to impose their values on others, even if it means more unintended pregnancies and an increased need for abortions." Should the bill become law, it would affect approximately 4,400 clinics nationwide.
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Media Resources: CNSNews 6/22/05; Kaisernetwork.org 6/22/05; The Oklahoman 6/22/05