Have you ever wondered how many teenage pregnancies would be prevented if schools offered contraception?
Recently, 13 schools in New York started a pilot program called Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health.
The goal of this plan is to offer Plan B, along with other forms of birth control, to teenage girls attending the schools.
Plan B, or the morning-after pill, is a contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy after having unprotected sexual intercourse.
Parents of the teenagers, ages 14 to 18, were informed via mail about the plan. According to ABC News, originally only 1 to 2 percent of these parents opted out.
Offering Plan B and other types of birth control may help the number of teen pregnancies, but what about the number of STDs? “When you give a girl birth control you can have sex every day without protection and it doesn’t prevent STDs,” said Ean Pemberton, junior health and human performance major.
The students in these schools have already had access to condoms and schools are looking to eventually offer an injectable form of birth control.
Instead of handing out contraceptives, schools should give out more information about the many things that come with sex.
Having a baby can be safer than having an incurable sexually transmitted disease.
The plan did not receive much negative feedback until a New York Post article brought attention to the topic with the headline “NYC schools give out morning-after pills to students—without telling parent.”
According to an article on the Dailybeast, Mona Davids, president of the NYC Parents Union, said “many of the parents she’s contacted at CATCH-affiliated schools don’t recall receiving the letter at all.”
If parents do not opt out of this plan, students have access to confidential services under state law. This means some of these parents won’t even know their child is using birth control.
This plan is overstepping parental boundaries. Informing parents via mail was a bad idea.
Some people do not pay attention to mail or overlook some things when going through their mail.
Not all of these parents are aware of what is really happening with this program which is why the New York City Parents Choice Coalition gathered on the steps of City Hall to protest the now-controversial CATCH program.
These parents are urging other concerned parents to join the campaign.
Teen pregnancy rates are extremely high, but allowing teenagers to access birth control and Plan B promotes sex in teenagers, which could turn out bad. If we promoted abstinence and awareness, we could eliminate way more problems.
“I would have rather been taught more about sex ed, that way we would be more aware of what’s happening, when it’s happening,” said Jade Maghoney, junior corporate communications major.
“I do think we need to use caution in providing the Plan B pill to teens who may not fully understand why and how to use it, there really isn’t enough comprehensive sexual health education provided in the schools in general, so it is alarming that they would offer Plan B in the absence of that,” Scyatta A. Wallace, a New York City psychologist told ABC News.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, only 28 percent of schools teach students about HIV, other STDs and pregnancy prevention.
Considering the obvious lack of sexual education, teens must have many unanswered questions. Until these questions are answered, schools should not provide birth control.
Giving teenagers that freedom without providing them with adequate information is just as irresponsible as having sex while relying only on birth control pills for protection.