Committee fails to endorse GOP child abuse reporting bill

MADISON — A key legislative committee has refused to endorse a Republican bill that would have required doctors and nurses to report cases where children are having sex to child protective services.

Currently, health care providers must report child sexual activity if they believe it involves a caregiver or the child doesn't understand the act, was unconscious or was exploited. They don't have to report unforced sex.

The bill would have mandated reporting any child sexual activity, raising concerns among health care providers that young people wouldn't be honest with their doctors.

Rep. Jeffrey Mursau, the sole Republican voting against the bill, said he didn't think children would go to the doctor about sexual activity at all if they know there's mandatory reporting. Another Republican was absent, leaving the vote at 4-4.