Parents are outraged by a new California law that allows minors as young as 12 to consent, without guardian permission, to medical care including the highly political HPV vaccine.
The new law means that minors can consent to the human papillomavirus vaccines (HPV) and other preventive measures including hepatitis B vaccines and HIV post exposure medications.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill that was sponsored by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Health Officers Association of California and the California STD Controllers Association.
The state already allowed young people ages 12 and older access to many types of confidential care including contraception, pregnancy care, mental health and drug abuse treatment.
According to the CDC, the HPV vaccination is recommended for 11 and 12 year-old girls.
It is also recommended for girls and women age 13 through 26 years of age who have not yet been vaccinated or completed the vaccine series. The HPV vaccine can also be given to girls starting at age nine.
However, the new law is being highly criticized by California politicians, parents and prominent religious organizations.
One critic is Randy Thomason, president of SaveCalifornia.com.
The bill was opposed by California Catholic Conference who also opposed previous measures that allow minors to consent to certain treatments without the involvement of parents, according to the Los Angeles Times.
That group wrote to legislators that “this bill is dangerous because it expands a faulty law which assumes that children know better than their parents and because it will allow minors access to HPV vaccines which may cause permanent harm.”
"It doesn't make sense to leave out medical care to prevent STDs while allowing minors to access treatment after they've already been exposed," said state assemblywoman Toni Atkins in a statement.
"This bill will prevent adolescents from contracting life-threatening illnesses," Atkins said.
HPV vaccines are meant to protect against cervical cancer, not STDS. The vaccine is widely linked serious health hazards including chronic autoimmune disease, blood clots and even death.
According to Atkin’s statement, other states have passed similar laws to extend the ability of minors to consent for preventive measures. The other states are Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota and the District of Columbia.