Urge Governor Brown to sign AB 499—call today!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

By Melanie Tom, Field Organizer

AB 499 is on Governor Brown’s desk and we need his signature. With the Right wing gearing up to oppose this simple measure, we need your help now more than ever!

Under California state law, minors are able to consent to confidential medical services. While physicians encourage patients to involve parents, the Legislature has recognized that involvement is not always practical and what is paramount is that teens receive timely, necessary medical care.

However, there is a gap in the law relative to prevention of sexually transmitted disease (STD). Existing law only specifies the ability to consent to diagnosis and treatment. This omission creates a barrier to time-critical preventive services. At the time the law was passed, the preventive options we have today were not in existence.

AB 499 would fill that gap by allowing minors to receive services to prevent STD’s.

AB 499 falls in line with what our young Asian folks in our organization want—which is access to medically accurate information and services which keep them healthy and strong.

Asian parents care deeply for their child’s health and well-being, but their involvement is not always practical. In conversation with Asian parents through focus groups we conducted around issues like STD prevention, they spoke honestly about their lack of medically accurate information and lack of comfort with the topic. Language and cultural barriers, plus unfamiliarity with the health care system, puts them at an even great disadvantage. Moreover, young people in our program have expressed that they will not seek the medical care they need if they knew they parents were going to find out.

Thankfully, parents are not the only adults that make up young people’s family. Caring nurses and doctors have been a reliable and trusted source of information for young people. AB 499 recognizes that young people want to take care of themselves, and that nurses and doctors are part of the broader circle of support that makes up strong families.

Please support AB 499 today by calling the Governor’s office at: 916-445-2841!   You can also click here to take action online.

He has until October 9th to sign or veto the bill but he could do either at any moment--he needs to hear your support now!

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