A bill recently filed in the Alabama Senate aims to protect children from unnecessary or dangerous medical treatments by no longer giving minors 14 years or older the ability to consent legally.

Under current law, any minor who is over the age of 14 or a high school graduate can give legal consent to any authorized medical, dental or mental health treatment without the permission of a parent or guardian.

Senate Bill 226 (SB226), sponsored by State Sen. April Weaver (R-Brierfield), would change the current law, allowing only minors who are or have been married to consent to their own medical decision.

The only exception would authorize all minors to seek medical or mental health services to determine the presence of pregnancy or to treat venereal disease, drug dependency, alcohol toxicity or any reportable disease.

The law has come under fire in recent years due to the proliferation of minors seeking mental health services and treatment for gender dysphoria.

Abortion has also been a concern in the past. However, Alabama's current abortion law makes most of those concerns moot.

Alabama's current law banning hormone and surgical treatment for minors who identify as transgender is currently being adjudicated in federal court.

SB 226 was filed on Thursday and will now go to the Senate Children and Youth Health Committee for deliberation.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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