Sen. David Hann: Incest victims should get judge's consent for medical attention

Sen. David Hann is an Eden Prairie Republican.
Sen. David Hann is an Eden Prairie Republican.

If a teenager is a victim of incest, Republican state Sen. Dave Hann of Eden Prairie says a judge's consent should be required before that teenager is allowed to seek medical attention, counseling, and testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

Because parents, he believes, need more control over their teenager's bodies.

His bill, S.F. 1017, would do away with decades-old laws designed to encourage teens in trouble with sex, drugs, and booze to seek confidential medical help.

Besides the incest rule, the bill would also require parental consent before a teenager could be tested for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, be prescribed a contraceptive, or be treated for drug or alcohol abuse.

Should it ever become law, the bill would also be the most restrictive in the country when it comes to teen sexual health. No other state requires parental consent for STD and pregnancy tests and contraceptive prescriptions according to data assembled by the Guttmacher Institute.

Minnesota STD rates: MDH says Hann's bill would make the trend lines worse.
Minnesota STD rates: MDH says Hann's bill would make the trend lines worse.

The bill's ultimate passage is far from certain. Although it won approval in the Senate Health and Human Services committee, which Hann chairs, it has no companion legislation in the House. Gov. Mark Dayton, who was endorsed by Planned Parenthood a candidate, hasn't commented on the legislation.

And the timing of Hahn's bill coincides with a recent Minnesota Department of Health study that shows we need to remove, not build, barriers to STD testing: Syphilis and chlamydia rates here continue to climb.

MDH assistant commissioner Aggie Leitheiser predicted that Hann's bill would make STD, unwanted pregnancy, and premature birth rates worse, not better. But maybe that's okay with Hann. At least parents would know what's going on.

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