1966: Georgia’s Big Leap down the Slippery Slope
Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, July 26, 2013 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler
Years ago, even before I became a “watchman on the wall” at the State Capitol, anti-traditional bills became law and dramatically interfered with parental authority. Seemingly honorable, honest, family-minded legislators passed laws that changed state culture forever. It was 1966 when senators and representatives in the Georgia General Assembly (most of whom had children and grandchildren) passed the Family Planning Act to provide confidential reproductive services for all ages, regardless of marital status. That meant no child is too young to receive services and no agency will inform the child’s parents.
The 1966 Family Planning Act presents a neutral attitude toward reproductive healthcare, with no mention of morality, parental authority and responsibility, or the law’s impact on the family unit or on family unity. In fact, you might have noticed that any sexually active or pregnant female is now identified in the media as a “woman,” though she might be only ten years old.
In Georgia, county boards of health and health districts, as well as pertinent departments of family and children services, train agency personnel to confidentially counsel and interview minors about reproductive health – healthcare/devices/medication/referrals before/during/after sexual activity. So, without parental knowledge or consent, minors may acquire from those agencies whatever medical services/drugs they want … if it concerns sexual activity.State agencies are authorized to confidentially refer children to licensed physicians for other medical treatment, birth control prescriptions and family planning products. Meaning, parents enter a “no-tell” zone, if they ask agencies whether their children receive services.
Georgia Code 31-9-2 allows any female, regardless of age or marital status, to confidentially consent to surgery or other medical treatment for herself, if the procedure concerns pregnancy or contraception or childbirth. That became nationally known in a 1985 U.S. House of Representatives State-by-State Report on teen pregnancy stating that Georgia considers sexually active minors as emancipated from parents. That report, also, says some states allow “mature minors” (their new term) to consent to pregnancy prevention services (abortion?) without parental permission.
For your information: For legal purposes, emancipated minors are assumed to be adults. They can enter into contracts and leases, sue or be sued in their own name, buy or sell real estate or other property, write a valid will, inherit property, enroll in school, get married and agree to various types of medical treatment … all without parental consent or notification or knowledge. Award emancipation for sexual activity and minors can do pretty much as they please and parental rights vanish. So, says the government. On the other hand, minors in Georgia must have parental consent to get a tattoo or have their ears pierced. Common sense says it should be the other way around, but common sense is rare these days!
For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.