Joshua Nitsche: Bill would delay teen care

May 9, 2013 

Staggeringly bad

As an obstetrician gynecologist, I was greatly troubled when I learned of HB 693 (“State bill strengthens parental control,” May 8).

If passed, this bill would create unnecessary barriers and delays not only to contraception but also to the prenatal care I provide for my teen patients. The negative effect this bill will have on the health of teens is staggering.

Consider my teen patient whose parents threw her out of their house when they learned she was pregnant, or the young woman who became pregnant after an assault by a family member. In each of these cases, I encouraged my patients to involve the remaining supportive adults in their lives. But requiring their parents’ consent would have been unreasonable, likely dangerous, and would have delayed, if not prevented, my patients’ receiving desperately needed prenatal care.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible for teens to involve family in their medical care decisions. HB 693 is another unwelcome intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship that will take away one more trusted adult a teen can turn to in a time of great need.

That isn’t good for teens, and it isn’t good for North Carolina.

Joshua Nitsche

Winston-Salem

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