City schools dispense morning-after pills

Pregnant girls can get Plan B “morning after” pills at more than 50 high schools, reports the New York Times. Nurses dispense the pills, at no cost, after checking to see if a parent has signed an opt-out form.

After that first time, the girl took Plan B at school two or three more times. She said her mother had not signed the opt-out form, because she had wanted to have sex and so had never given it to her. “My mom, she doesn’t even know they have this stuff,” the girl, a junior from Coney Island, said.

If an independent provider, such as a clinic or hospital, dispenses contraceptives then no parental permission is needed.

Until recently, only those 17 and older could buy Plan B over the counter. But schools in New York City, Baltimore, Chicago, Oakland and Colorado let high school girls of any age obtain the drug in school health centers or nurse’s offices.

By contrast, “half of all school-based health clinics are prohibited from handing out any contraception, including condoms,” according to the School-Based Health Alliance.

Critics say the morning-after pill encourages teens to have sex. A Brooklyn 17-year-old who’d used Plan B “less than five times” this year, thinks it does. Like several other students in the Times story, she did not give her parents the opt-out form. She blames two of her pregnancies on her mother, who took her birth control away. Mercifully, the school nurse set up an appointment for her to have an intrauterine device implanted.

Researchers say the morning-after pill doesn’t increase sexual activity, but also doesn’t decrease the pregnancy rate. Teens have unprotected sex, get pregnant, take Plan B, go out and have unprotected sex again, get pregnant again and say, “I just didn’t think I would get pregnant,” says Dr. Elizabeth G. Raymond, senior medical associate with Gynuity Health Projects.

At Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn, a 17-year-old junior from Crown Heights said she had taken Plan B at school three times this year. Despite the threat of disease, which is drilled into students during sex education courses, she was less likely to use condoms because she knew she could get the morning-after pill, she said.

Girls who lack the maturity or intelligence to understand the consequences of their actions aren’t likely to become competent mothers. It’s good these girls are deferring motherhood. But why can’t they use Norplant, an IUD or some other form of reliable, long-term birth control?

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Comments

  1. Genevieve says:

    This article seems to add to the confusion of what Plan B does. The primarily way that Plan B work is to prevent a pregnancy from occurring (preventing egg from being released, preventing fertilization of the egg). So the girls were never really pregnant.

    I had a friend in high school that used Plan B. I forget if the condom fell off or broke, but either way she knew that pregnancy was now a possibility. It was soon after Plan B was around and potentially really helped her out (it may have prevented a pregnancy at 16).

    • I disagree–the confusion (or were I less charitable, the obfuscation) is on your end. Just about everybody in the article seems to be referring to the secondary way that Plan B works, by preventing a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb. It’s supposed to be effective within 72 hours.

      A while back there was a thread here about school nurses; I said that school nurses were seen by some parents as adversaries. Here’s this, from the article: “She said the school nurse had helped her find abortions at a clinic…”

  2. Ok, so this “Gynuity” place is affiliated with National Abortion Federation. Nice. So they pimp these products out to children to “help” them as well as their bottom line.

    Don’t tell me these girls are delaying motherhood. They’re simply killing off their first few children because they’re inconvenient. I cannot entirely blame the kids’ parents because taking away birth control does not make you pregnant. And parents can’t act on what they don’t know about. Not even bringing a form in for the parents to sign? How does the school even know if parents know what’s up? Or are they intentional about keeping this information to themselves unless specifically asked? Guessing the latter.

    Sex ed should be opt-IN, or better yet, not taught at all. This stuff is just sick.

  3. I can lose my teaching credential for giving a student a Tylenol or Aspirin…….

  4. Roger Sweeny says:

    Is there any truth to the rumor that, since they knew the risks of pregnancy and STDs and got pregnant anyway, all girls who come to get Plan B are also sterilized, unless their parents have opted out of that particular Darwin Award?

  5. cranberry says:

    “But why can’t they use Norplant, an IUD or some other form of reliable, long-term birth control?”

    Norplant is not available in the US at present.

    Only two IUDs are available in the US. Using either is more costly than free morning-after pills: http://nwhn.org/not-your-mother’s-iud-benefits-and-risks-modern-iuds.

    “For an uninsured woman paying out-of-pocket, an IUD costs $500—$1500, including exams, tests, the IUD, insertion, and removal.”

  6. Richard Aubrey says:

    Lost a beautiful, talented, happy sixteen year old girl from the family on account of BC pills. She’d been prescribed them as usual with an acne med. Apparently the latter is savagely dangerous to the unborn child and probably only cloistered nuns don’t get it. Has nothing to do with potential sexual activity.
    Anyway, there’s a heritable clotting factor which, combined with BC, will kill the woman.
    In addition, I have heard the morning after pill could cause major bleeding.
    In either case, what’s the school’s liability? Can a minor sign a waiver of liability?

    • Oh God, Richard. I’m so sorry. The med you’re discussing is almost certainly Accutane. It’s federal law now that they do bloodwork every month to ensure you’re not pregnant and that you are on birth control pills and another form of protection, nun or not. These were not requirements in the past and the documented results were devastating. In those rare cases where a patient must take a form of bc with a medicine, I am quite certain that it does not reflect in any way on the beautiful girl I’m sure your relative was. Anyone saying otherwise is most certainly an insensitive clod.

      • Richard Aubrey says:

        Elf Mom.
        Thanks for the thoughts. I think it was Accutane.
        The parents have a memorial fund/golf event to pay for golf at the high school, and to raise awareness of, iirc, Factor 5. I believe that’s the name of the clotting factor.
        So, suppose she’d gotten the pill from the nurse at the HS and died. School’s liability is…?

  7. Doctors usually won’t give an IUD to a woman who hasn’t already had a kid, unless she’s a lot older than these girls. There’s a slight but significant risk of permanent problems that would make you unable to have future pregnancies. Also, it’s crazy expensive. The IUD isn’t a good option for teenagers.o

    Norplant isn’t available any more.

    The only real option for teenage girls is the pill, and that’s not much of an option if you can’t get to a pharmacy monthly, or if you have parents who will find the pill and throw it out.

    • Doctors will certainly give IUDs to women who haven’t had a child. IUDs are highly recommend for teens and young adults as once they are inserted there is no possibility of “user error”. A generation ago IUDs weren’t recommended for young women, but that is no longer the case. They are also not crazy expensive – thanks to Obamacare, they are available without any co-pay at all. They do however, generally require parental consent, which can be an enormous stumbling block to teens.

      • What sort of logic produces a reality in which a teacher can lose their credential for giving a kid an Aspirin, but school nurses can give them Plan B and refer them to abortion clinics, and where kids can’t get an IUD without parental consent, but can get abortions without parental consent.

    • Stacy in NJ says:

      There’s always condoms. All forms of birth control require some amount of pre-planning which is probably while these girls are using the morning-after pill.

  8. Geesh! It’s not should they be using birth control or even what kind! These are CHILDREN who are engaging in harmful, risky, and often dangerous behavior. Why in the world are we permitting our government to participate in this WITH them and purposely excluding the parents! And don’t tell me it’s because of all those “bad parents” out there not doing the right things. Since when is any government better at parenting a child – EVER!! Certainly doesn’t look as if they are protecting anybody any better – the dangerous behavior continues. NEVER should parents be circumvented, excluded, or marginalized. NEVER!!

    • Common Core will accelerate that process until children are essentially owned by the state. The CC proponents don’t talk about the invasive aspects of CC; “behavioral assessments” as part of the school record (including school-only computers with cameras), government preschool and intervention all the way down to early infancy, sex ed a regular part of school-starting in K, alignment with the UN Rights of the Child etc., because they know people would fight it. The CC is a stealth move, pretending to be academic-only. In addition to the constructivist academic aspects of CC being inadequate/flawed and completely untested (thank you Pearson) and easily subverted (see earlier article on the site re NYC), the SAT/ACT will also be aligned with CC. The head of CC is now head of ETS, which runs the SAT. Even private schools will be affected; needing the same student “profile” etc. for accreditation, and same constructivist academics for the SAT. I am absolutely certain that homeschooling will be targeted for elimination. (dangerously subversive!)

      Re. the subject at hand; It says nothing good about the cultural changes in this country that illegitimacy rates are so much higher now than they were in the days before reliable birth control (the Pill) and legal abortion. Back then, families took better care of kids, guys knew they’d have to marry the girl they impregnated because of the stigma against illegitimacy and girls knew not to mess with married guys because the stigma against divorce meant they’d never be more than the girlfriend on the side. Oh, and there was NO government assistance in many places (perhaps most, except for big cities), so it was up to families to deal with things. Most of us decided we didn’t want that life and made better choices. Most kids were brought up with the idea that we could, and should, control ourselves. Yes, there were some earlier-than-planned marriages, but most pregnancies in my town were in long-time couples who planned to marry, anyway.