Miriam, you say there there are plenty of temptations and few consequences.....
Well, the consequence of seeking medical treatment shouldn't be a state investigation. The consequence of an STD can be pretty devastating.
Whether you agree with it or not...the result of the change in the interpretation of the law will be young women not receiving care for STDs, not receiving birth control, and not receiving annual paps. Who are most at risk for dying of cervical cancer? Women who haven't received a pap in 5 years or more. Your insurance premiums and taxes will be paying for expensive therapies that could have been prevented with routine health care. Paying for prenatal care, birth, and follow up for teen moms is a hell of alot more expensive than supplying them with information and birth control. The care for STDs that have gone untreated is awful.
I once cared for a man who had syphillis...for ten years. He had been infected, didn't seek treatment, later married, infected his wife (she didn't know until later). When I took care of him, he was in the hospital's medical floor, after being initially admited to the mental health unit....because untreated syphillis can make you go insane. He was there because, at the age of 25, he started having mental illness problems that didn't respond to treatment. His wife left him, he couldn't work, he had to move in with his parents. Then one day they came home from work to find him covered with blood, and all their pets decapitated...the voices in his head had told him that they wouldn't kill him if he would kill the cats and the dog. In the mental health unit he had a reaction to a drug that sent him to the ICU, where they did a bunch of blood tests and discovered the syphillis. A simple round of antibiotics shortly after infection would have saved so much pain and suffering. This man will live for quite some time, and never on his own--he will probably be institutionalized until he dies. What are the costs, not only to tax payers and society, but also in terms of this poor man's life?
Do you really want the rates of syphillis, chlamydia and the like to increase? What about teen pregnancy? It just breaks my heart to think of some girl in pain from a sexually transmitted disease who is also scared to seek treatment because she is scared SRS is going to show up at her door and get her parents and family in trouble.
And well woman exams, as well as those exams that involve treatment of STDs are GREAT opportunities to discuss the consequences of sexual activity, as well as educate the girl about safe sexual activities and behaviours. We will lose this opportunity to have this discussion if the girls aren't even coming in, or if, during an annual physical when I ask a girl if she is sexually active and she lies and says no.
I'm sorry about your experiences with your own daughter, Miriam, I don't wish unhealthy relationships upon anyone. But I do think that everyone deserves good health care without the fear of state involvement. I have worked with too many teens over the years (and was a rebellious one myself once upon a time), and I don't see how this interpretation of the law is designed to be helpful. I do vividly see how it will harm young women. But I am a bleeding heart liberal (I readily admit that!!) who believes that even young women who are making poor choices deserve respect and access to good health care. Sometimes I'm like that to a fault, I know. But I just feel really strongly about health care access.