Some Maryland delegates say parents should know if their child is on certain forms of birth control

A group of Republicans in the Maryland House of Delegates are backing a bill that would put some restrictions on access to certain types of birth control available on the market.

For years, Maryland state law has given teenagers under the age of 18 the same rights as adults when it comes to talking about and accessing birth control and other forms of contraception.

But Washington County Delegate Neil Parrott’s bill would require parental approval before a child could have an intrauterine device (IUD) or the implantable rod. “The issue is really parents having no knowledge at all,” Parrott told The Frederick News-Post.

Parrott filed Maryland House Bill 53 after he heard about a Baltimore teenager who received what is known as an “implantable rod” from a school nurse. Her device wasn’t implanted right, and that resulted in more medical problems for the girl, while the child’s mother scrambled to figure out what was wrong.

The mother, who was not initially aware of the procedure, told WMAR-TV in Baltimore that the school nurse told her “I don’t have to talk to you about absolutely nothing.”

Parrott said his bill is not intended to stop teens from using noninvasive form of contraception, like the birth control pill or patch.

He would be open to tweaks to the bill that could make it narrower in scope — applying it only to school-based health centers, for instance — if needed to draw support from beyond the handful of other Republican delegates currently co-sponsoring it.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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