Thursday, June 23, 2005

COBURN WATCH From the Muskogee Phoenix:
Federally financed health clinics would have to notify parents whose children try to obtain contraceptives at the clinics, under a bill introduced in Congress on Tuesday.

The legislation was introduced in the Senate by Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and in the House by Republican Todd Akin of Missouri.

Under the bill, clinics would have to tell parents five business days before contraceptives are dispensed to minors at any of 4,400 federal Title 10 clinics across the nation.

The clinics provide medical and reproductive services to five million poor and uninsured women. Congress spent $286 million in fiscal 2005 on Title 10 clinics.

"I have seen first-hand the painful consequences associated with our federal policy that allows children to make potentially life-changing reproduction decisions without their parent's knowledge, " said Coburn, an obstetrician. "This government-sanctioned veil of secrecy is contributing to a growing sexually transmitted disease epidemic and encourages unintended teen pregnancies and abortions. Few government policies are more irrational or hostile to the vital relationship between a parent and child."

In the Senate, the bill has nine other sponsors, including Republican Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.