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Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on SB 573, “relative to parent consent for medical care.” This dangerous piece of legislation would prohibit young people from accessing a broad range of essential health care services – including contraception – without parental consent.

The impacts of this type of legislation can already be seen in Texas, where an abortion ban and restrictions on confidential birth control are in place -- and the teen birth rates have gone up for the first time in 15 years. The study found that Texas teenagers are giving birth at a rate that is 46 percent higher than the national average; in contrast, New Hampshire currently has the lowest teen birth rates in the country. PPNNE/PPNHAF testimony on this bill is available here

Kayla Montgomery, Vice President of Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund, released the following statement responding to yesterday's hearing:

“Teenagers deserve access to safe, confidential health care, including contraception, with support from their loved ones. For most, this support comes from a parent – but that’s simply not the reality for all young people.

“For decades, New Hampshire has allowed for broad access to health care for young people without unnecessary barriers. While most teenagers do involve their parents in health care decisions, parental consent mandates like SB 573 can deter teens from seeking the care they need, cause harmful delays, and put vulnerable young people at risk. Teenagers need to be able to receive contraception confidentially, as they should be able to make decisions about their own bodies, lives, and futures.”

Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund (PPNHAF) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in New Hampshire. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.

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