Friday, December 03, 2004

California Schools Barred From Parental Notification

Something needs to be done regarding the legislating from the bench and the interpretation of the law by persons other than Judges sitting on the higher courts. The California Attorney General has taken the interpretation of the law into his own hands and ruled that parents are not to be informed if their child seeks any type of medical treatment up to and including abortion. A parents groups have been attempting to get parental notification in view of "medical emancipation" statutes.

The arguments for lack of parental notification always seem to fall back on "parental abuse or incest"
as the reasoning behind such rulings. Patental rights are being usurped by schools, Planned Parenthood, and other secularists. There are undoubtedly cases where parental abuse or incest are the underlying problem, however, there could be statutes that would protect a child in such a case that would be an exception as determined through a judicial hearing to protect the child. This would allow for intervention by social services to help improve parenting skills or adjudication for frank abuse by the courts.

Because a few children truly need the protection of the courts is not sufficient reason to deny all parents information regarding a health problem. Infringement of parental rights to guide their children's decisions regarding health problems is not in the best interest of children and does more to undermine the basic structure of families. If I had a 12 year old daughter who was pregnant or was clinically depressed, I would want to know so that I could provide the emotional support and have a voice in how the problem
was dealt with.

California schools cannot inform parents if their children leave campus to receive certain confidential medical services that include abortion, AIDS treatment and psychological analysis, according to an opinion issued by the office of state Attorney General Bill Lockyer.
The opinion was prompted by resistance from teachers unions and groups such as Planned Parenthood to a Sacramento-based lobby group's efforts to help schools enact a "parent-friendly" policy requiring parental notification and consent in the wake of "medical emancipation" statutes that allow students to confidentially seek medical help off campus.

Lockyer's opinion relies on past decisions affirming a confidential relationship between a medical professional and a minor, but Koons argues that is not the issue.

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