What are New York City schools up to these days? They are overstepping their bounds, undermining parental authority and promoting sexual promiscuity in teenagers. How, you ask? By dispensing Reclipsen and Depo Provera birth control drugs, Plan B morning-after pills, and administering pregnancy tests without parental consent or knowledge that their child is requesting or receiving them.
Thirteen schools are making the Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health (CATCH) program an opt-out one. Supposedly, a letter was sent home with all students saying that if parents did not want the school to give their children these medications without parental knowledge or consent, the parents would have to return the form stating they want to opt out their children from being able to receive these medications. Who knows how many forms made it home to inform parents?
Birth control pills, shots, and morning-after pills all require a prescription for minors under the age of 18. That poses no problem for the New York City schools; they just have Health Department doctors write the prescriptions, often with parents none the wiser.
Think about how outrageous this is; girls as young as 14 could be given the morning-after pill and sent home. Suppose she has severe side effects from the pill but is afraid to tell her parents? It’s late at night or perhaps a weekend, what will she do? Who will she call?
According to the Plan B/One-Step website, should a patient experience severe abdominal pain, it could be an ectopic pregnancy, which can be a life-threatening emergency. If the girl’s period is more than a week late, she could be pregnant, even after taking Plan B. A young New York City student may go through this situation without her parent’s knowledge but with the complicity of the New York City Health Department and school system. Let’s pray that no young girl will die due to complications she was afraid to tell her parents about after she was encouraged at school to hide her sexual activity from her parents.
Birth control pills – Reclipsen in this case – change hormonal levels and are not without risk. According to WebMD.com, some of the serious possible side effects of the pill given out by the New York City schools are: pulmonary embolism, stroke, heart attack, slurred speech, severe stomach/abdominal/pelvic pain, vision problems, depression, and suicidal thoughts. What if the student has a serious problem related to the medication, and her parents rush her to the hospital? They would not be able to tell the doctor that their daughter is on this medication, because the school would have given it to her without their knowledge. That lack of knowledge may prevent proper medical care or cause a dangerous drug interaction. But hey, at least the school made sure your daughter didn’t get pregnant, right?
What about young girls involved in dangerous or possibly illegal relationships? What if a girl is pimped or a victim of statutory rape? The perpetrator may be forcing her to take birth control drugs or Plan B to cover up his crimes. If the school system distributes those drugs with no questions asked, are they aiding and abetting a crime?
This is yet another example of an out-of-control bureaucracy. Students cannot be given any medication if they have a headache, but if they want to engage in sex, well then, the school should help them, right? Giving an aspirin one time is off limits, but putting young girls on daily medications that can have serious consequences is perfectly acceptable.
And it could be argued that it is the failure of comprehensive sex education that leads to sexually active, sexually infected, and pregnant students. Comprehensive sex-ed is promoted as the way to prevent pregnancy and disease transmission – but now they need morning-after pills stocked in the school nurse’s office? Are the students who take the birth control regularly offered screening for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)? The nation is in the midst of an epidemic of STDs among 15-24-year-olds. Do the students understand that birth control products will not protect them from becoming infected with a serious and often incurable STD?
It is frightening and tragic that there are parents who do not care what their children are doing, and with each example of government intruding between parents and children, this story is fast becoming the norm. According to the Health Department, only one to two percent of parents opt their children out of this program.
Whose job is it to protect their children, guide them in life, and help them? The answer should be parents, but in some schools in New York City, the government has taken over the task.