Sexual partners of patients who are diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhea could receive prescription antibiotics without a medical exam, under a bill that won first-round approval from Nebraska lawmakers.
The 32-3 vote on Wednesday followed hours of debate.
Sen. Sara Howard of Omaha says she introduced the bill in response to high rates of sexually transmitted diseases in Omaha. More than 3,300 cases of chlamydia and more than 860 cases of gonorrhea were reported in Douglas County last year.
Howard says the legislation would allow treatment for people who are unable or unwilling to visit the doctor, and decrease the odds that infections would spread.
Opponents argued that the medications could have risky side effects, and questioned who would be responsible for follow-up care.
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