“I think probably most people would be surprised to learn that they do not have access to their minor children's health records without their children's permission. That has been the status of the law in Minnesota for some time, and what this bill does is reverse that presumption,” says state Sen. David Hann (R) of Eden Prairie, Minn.
And to listen to him, you'd think this was a huge injustice. So much of one, in fact, that he's written a bill to undo all the hard work lawmakers have done to protect kids from abusive parents, or even just the fear of how a parent might react. The bill would not only open up a child's medical records to his or her parents, but would require parental involvement in any and all physician visits—including, but not limited to, STI testing, birth control, pregnancy and abortion.
Sen. Hann calls it a “matter of common sense.” Why wouldn't we want parents involved in their children's health care?
But Sen. John Marty (DFL) of Roseville is just as skeptical as we are. “We changed the law in order to protect these kids. We did it in order to protect them, to make sure they'll feel comfortable going to the doctor.”