Measure would allow preventive care, including HPV vaccine, without parental consent.
By Michael Gardner
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown is considering whether to sign a little-noticed bill that would allow minors to receive preventive treatment for sexually transmitted diseases without parental consent, including vaccines for girls to combat the HPV virus, which can cause cervical cancer.
Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, said her legislation is needed to close a gap in existing law that now permits minors to obtain post-infection treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and even abortions without the approval of parents or a guardian.
Existing law bars those under 18 from receiving preventive care, such as vaccines, to guard against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases without parental consent.
“The intent of this bill is to protect young people,” Atkins said. “When you look at the increasing numbers of young people with STDs it should be frightening.”
A report last spring showed sexually transmitted diseases continuing to rise in San Diego County, with a 15-fold jump in syphilis over the past decade.
Among other things, the measure would allow girls to be vaccinated on their own for the human papilloma virus, or HPV. Most of those infected with a form of HPV experience few, if any symptoms.