Contraceptives Available from High School Clinic Without Parental Consent

"Students at a Northern California school district now have low to no-cost access to contraceptives, including the controversial Plan B, at a high school clinic. The Santa Rosa City Board of Education cleared the way in late May for the Elsie Allen High School clinic to prescribe and distribute the contraceptives to students from the entire school district.

This, coupled with California’s Minor Consent Laws, allows students as young as 14 to receive birth control patches, oral and intravenous birth control, the "morning after pill" and condoms, all without the notification of their parents, according to the California Teen Health website."

         

          I have sooo many issues with this.  WHEW!  Where to begin?

          In essence, this is saying my 14 year old is in charge of her sexuality.  If she can take the pill, and Plan B if she "forgets" or thinks she may have gotten pregnant, why not let her go one step further and have an abortion without my consent?  Why is it okay to prevent a pregnancy, and then try to prevent it again?  How long will that line remain in tact?  If you give a 14 year old the green light to have sex, shouldn’t you also almost HAVE TO allow her to choose which path she goes down afterwards?

          Hormonally altering a child during puberty, especially so early in stages of puberty, just seems wrong.  Health risks are generally multiplied in the younger and older age groups, and there is a very good reason females should be a OB/GYN before being prescribed the pill.  What if you have a disorder that makes you more prone to blood clots?  If my daughter has a leg cramp, I’d be more likely to take her to the doctor after the first day if I knew she was on the pill than if not.  What about ovarian cysts?  While physiological cysts are typical for many women during their cycle, the pill make cover some pathological cysts, or make them appear less severe than they are.  Again, if no one but my daughter knows she is on the pill, how can we, as parents and caretakers, properly asses her risks and give her the best possible treatment?

          Giving a girl the pill only protects her from getting pregnant.  I can think of far worse consequences that come with sex – how about gonaherpasyphiliesHIV and AIDSCrabsChlamydia?  If she’s carrying gonorrhea or chlamydia and is asymptomatic, as are many cases, she could become sterile and be sterile for years before she even knows something is wrong.  She could develop PID and experience excruciating pelvic pain, or again, infertility and ectopic pregnancies.  Would she even tell me, her mother, that she thought something was wrong if she couldn’t even come to me for birth control?

          Handing out birth control also seems to place the responsibility of safe sex practices solely in the hands of the female.  I cringe when people say things like, "Oh, you’re lucky you won’t have to worry about having grandkids too early!  You’ve got boys!"  It is just as much my son’s responsibility to ensure he doesn’t impregnate or infect a girl as it is her responsibility to not get pregnant, infected, or pass the infection!  While the girl may have to deal with the physical ramifications of pregnancy every day for at least the term of her pregnancy and postpartum period, you can bet your butt my son won’t be shirking his half of the responsibilities!  Why should it be any different when they have sex to begin with?! 

          While I agree that many children are uncomfortable talking to their parents about sexual matters, it is your job as a parent to cover that topic.  You don’t have to be all up in the business – leave a box of condoms in their rooms and replace it every now and then.  Ask your daughter if she’d like to see and OB/GYN and be firm when you tell her you will respect her privacy.  While an unwillingness to talk about sex may be an huge indicator of immaturity, it will not stop your child if they are truly determined to have sex.  So why not arm them just in case?  Would it be the school’s job to care for my daughter if she got pregnant or acquired an STD?  So why should it be their job to help her have safer sex?

          I strongly disagree that teaching abstinence only will eradicate teen pregnancy and eliminate cases of STDs among teenagers.  As was mentioned before, if they want to do it, they will.  At least educate them as to how to engage in safe sex.  Do you really think no child knows that not having sex won’t get them pregnant?  Do you really think they’re thinking the stork will visit them?  Seriously, think about that.  Do you think that your child doesn’t understand what "sexually transmitted disease" really means?  They’re not dumb.  Perhaps naive and/or immature, but not dumb.  Reminding them that those are possible consequences of sexual activity is great, but telling them just seems…  irresponsible.  "The more you tell someone not to do something, the more they want to do it."  While that may not always be the case, wouldn’t you rather risk your child thinking twice about that condom or other contraceptive method than to not even think once because they didn’t know what their options were or how to use them?  Which seems more effective to you?

          No one should be able to give my child any sort of prescription without my consent.  Period. 

          Cornelia (thanks commenter!) also posted about this.  She brought up another school in Massachusetts that was giving condoms to children from their clinic who had parental consent to be treated.  Birth control, which they are adding to their "services" will be confidential.  The key word there, folks: consent.  Not to mention again that birth control is a prescription that even a married, legal adult cannot get without first seeing an OB/GYN, going through an exam, and then filling it herself.

          Would you want your child to get birth control and/or condoms in school?

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