Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation that gives children 12 or older the right to obtain preventive treatment for sexually transmitted diseases without parental consent, including an HPV immunization for cervical cancer.
Brown did not explain his reasoning in the announcement Sunday.
Assembly Bill 499 was carried by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego. She said the legislation addresses a loophole in the law that forbids prevention steps by doctors but allows minors under 18 to undergo abortions and post-infection treatment for sexually transmitted diseases without the approval of parents or a guardian.
“They are already able to get diagnosis and treatment, but they have not been able to get preventive treatment,” Atkins said. “This closes that gap so that practitioners who are already seeing people in their clinics and doctors offices can address these issues with their clients.”
Many in the medical field and advocates for minors agree parental consent is ideal. But they say in some cases sexually active minors without a strong relationship with their parents may be too frightened to seek approval and risk their health.