Thanks to an Obamacare regulation that took effect on Aug. 1, health care plans in Oregon will now be required to provide free sterilizations to 15- year-old girls even if the parents of those girls do not consent to the procedure.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius finalized the regulation earlier this year.
It says that all health care plans in the United States--except those provided by actual houses of worship organized under the section of the Internal Revenue Code reserved for churches per se--must provide coverage, without cost-sharing, for sterilizations and all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives to “all women with reproductive capacity.”
In practical terms, "all women with reproductive capacity" means girls as young as about 12. That, according to the National Institutes of Health, is when girls usually start menstruating...The situation could be even worse in Minnesota where state law allows a minor girl, with no age restriction, to make decisions regarding contraception without her parents' knowledge or consent.
Thus, the regulation issued by the Health Resources and Services Administration said: "Non-grandfathered plans and issuers are required to provide coverage without cost-sharing consistent with these guidelines in the first plan year (in the individual market, policy year) that begins on or after August 1, 2012. ... All Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity."
HHS said nothing about restricting the provision of these free "preventive services" to women who were 18 or older, or 21 or older, or even 15 or older. The regulation simply said "all women with reproductive capacity."
However, states have varying laws on the age of consent. CNSNews.com took a look at Oregon and its rule of consent for sterilization--one of the free services required by the Obama administration's regulation.