By Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog
OMAHA — No law in Nebraska stops a minor from being examined and treated for sexually transmitted diseases without parental consent, according to the director of the Douglas County Health Department.
Following an exclusive, attention-grabbing report by Nebraska Watchdog, Health Department Director Adi Pour emphasized that when it comes to stemming STDs, “NO state requires parental consent,” or requires that parents be notified that their child has received health care, “except in limited or unusual circumstances.”
In an email responding to a series of questions from Nebraska Watchdog, Pour did not detail what those “unusual circumstances” are. She did confirm that treatment through the county would be available at low or no cost to those who test positive.
Last week, Nebraska Watchdog first reported on a stormy county health meeting where Omaha’s extremely high rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea were the targets of a now controversial plan.
At the meeting, Pour announced an $88,000 grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
The money — private funds, not tax dollars — would buy test kits allowing young people to test themselves for STDs without telling their parents.
One woman in the audience appeared critical of the “don’t tell your parents” policy. Her questions irritated County Commissioner Mike Boyle, who got into a shouting match with the woman. Both repeatedly called each other” ignorant” and the woman dropped an “f” bomb.
As for the grant, Pour told Nebraska Watchdog the county sought out the money. She said before the project is OK’d “focus groups and community discussions” will be held.
Pour said according to national statistics 70 percent of those infected with STDs show no symptoms.
Contact Joe Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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