AT-RISK TEENS: Seek Confidential Reproductive Health Services
Ranging in age from 11 to 19, girls are flocking one day a week to the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Roseville for confidential pregnancy and STD screening, the Sacramento Bee reports. Kaiser Permanente is part of a larger national trend of private hospitals that are offering services to adolescent girls, ranging from just providing information to offering tests or birth control. Specialists say the efforts are targeting a "vulnerable population" of at-risk teens "for whom obtaining preventive services has traditionally been difficult and sometimes intimidating." Dr. Nichole Zidenberg, head of the Roseville clinic, said, "We emphasize confidentiality. That's a really critical issue for these kids. Most of them are petrified at the idea of talking to an adult, much less their parents, about these issues." She added, "This clinic allows us to identify [huge risk factors] early and deal with them right here ... before they become a crisis." Under California law, teens have access to reproductive health services, including contraception and abortion, without parental consent. The Roseville clinic, however, does not perform abortions (Hubert, 2/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.