Scroll To Top

Judge blocks
Kansas law that sought sex info on teens

Judge blocks
Kansas law that sought sex info on teens

Judge rules abuse law does not require reporting any sexual activity among adolescents

A federal judge in Kansas ruled Tuesday that a state law requiring health care providers to report signs of abuse to government officials does not cover reporting any sexual activity by teenagers to authorities, The New York Times reports. Kansas law states that any sexual activity--including oral sex, intercourse, and even "lewd touching"--is illegal for anyone under age 16. State attorney general Phill Kline in 2003 issued an opinion saying that under the abuse law health officials were obliged to report to law enforcement officials to law enforcement officials any cases of sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, or requests for contraception by state residents under age 16. Doctors, nurses, therapists, and sex educators banded together with the Centers for Reproductive Rights to file a class-action lawsuit against Kline, saying his requirement would prevent young people from seeking medical care.

Judge J. Thomas Marten ruled that Kline's directive improperly equated consensual sexual activity with abuse, which is what the law was designed to protect against. The judge also chastised Kline, saying his opinion was "contrary to a plain reading" of the law. "The opinion wrongly redefines the common understanding of both state agencies and mandatory reporters by denoting all sexual activity to be 'inherently injurious,' " the judge wrote, reports the Times. "The attorney general's overexpansive interpretation of the reporting statute not only fails to serve the public interest, it actually serves to undermine it."

Simon Heller, an attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights, told the Times that Marten's decision reinforces the constitutional rights of adolescents to have private and confidential conversations with their health care providers. (The Advocate)

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Outtraveler Staff