All eyes are on California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown as he considers whether or not to sign a bill allowing children as young as 12 to be vaccinated against STDs without their parents’ consent. Brown has until October 9 to decide.

As is stands now, minors can seek treatment for STDs but need they need their parents’ approval to receive Gardasil or Cervarix, which prevent HPV (a virus that can cause cervical cancer). The new bill, which has recently been passed by both houses of the state legislature, would mean that teens could get the HPV vaccines – as well as potential future vaccines for herpes or HIV – without parental consent.

I for one am in favor of the bill going through. Unfortunately there are lots of families not having open discussions about sex, and there are still countless parents out wrongfully assuming that their kids aren’t sexually active. Meanwhile, new research shows that the number of young people in the U.S. having unsafe sex with a new partner has increased 39% in the last three years. No matter what your opinion on sex ed, the reality remains that teens are having sex – and no parent wants their child suffering through an STD.

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