Parents’ Right to Know Under Attack

This week, the Virginia House of Delegates will vote on a bill recently passed by the Virginia Senate, which ensures parental involvement in their child’s health.
SB 1235 requires that, before any Virginia Department of Health staff or agent may speak with a minor on any sexual issue, including pregnancy, they must first have the consent of a parent. It is a straightforward bill that will reinforce Virginia’s Parental Consent law.
SB 1235 was introduced because of actions taken by the Virginia Department of Health last summer, The Department “experimented” with a new sex information hotline that was directly targeted towards minors. Over the summer, many parents discovered that flyers had been sent directly to their teens, bypassing the parents. Links provided in these flyers included resources from Planned Parenthood, as well as other resources that helped teens get abortion information if they lived in a state like Virginia that has a Parental Consent law.
SB 1235 passed the Senate with bipartisan support, 20-19, on February 3, 2021. It is expected to be considered by the full House of Delegates the week of February 8.
UPDATE: This bill was “laid on the Table” in a House of Delegates committee in February special session. So, as a result no vote was taken on the bill in that Chamber, which means it is defeated for this year. Hopefully it will be introduced again next year.

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