Week 7: Protecting Youth Privacy
By Liz McKay, Policy and Education Intern
February 25th, 2016
Yesterday, the Committee of State, Veterans, and Military Affairs heard HB-1110, also known as the Parent’s Bill of Rights. This is a familiar bill by now, as Republicans pushed for a similar one last year (SB15-077), which was defeated in the Democratic House. Sponsored by Rep. Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock) and Sen. Tim Neville (R-Littleton), HB-1110 is a simplified version of SB-077 and gives parents ultimate care, custody, and control over their child, stating that no governmental entities can interfere with these parental rights without demonstrating “compelling interest”.
While HB-1110 does not go into the same detail as SB-077 (which specifically listed invasive parental rights such as the right to deny their children certain factual curricula in school, or interfere with standard health care) the implications are much the same.
Initially this may sound like a good idea, and Colorado Youth Matter definitely values parental involvement. However, this bill goes way too far and poses some major issues when it comes to youth sexual health. Giving parents total access to medical records and requiring parental consent for all health care would create huge barriers for youth seeking help for sensitive issues and topics such as sexual health services, mental health services, LGBT counseling, and more. These are already difficult services for young people to access - whether it be because of cost, awareness of services available, or transportation. This bill would give zero privacy to youth who are uncomfortable sharing these sensitive issues with their parents, creating another barrier to their health and wellbeing. It undermines a young person’s agency over their own body, sending the message that they are not trusted to understand their own experiences and health needs.
Other news in brief:
- The Extended Statute of Limitations Bill (HB-1260) passed it’s 3rd house reading 62-2 on February 19th.
- The Parental Leave Bill (HB-1002) was introduced to the Senate on the 19th, and is scheduled to be heard in the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on March 9th. For more information or to testify at the committee hearing, contact Lorena Garcia.
- The Offenses Against Unborn Children (HB-1007) was postponed indefinitely after being heard in committee on the 12th.