The GEM Debate: Prom, P.E And Plan B…
Should Kids Get THIS At School? (VIDEO)
Finally! A school initiative I can get behind.
13 schools in New York City are giving out birth control as a part of CATCH (Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health). According to this article, in addition to condoms, students will also have access to the pill and Plan B contraception (aka the morning after pill). Parents can opt out of this program if they choose, but if they don’t, students as young as 14 are eligible to confidentially receive birth control.
My most prominent reaction is “yes!” I’ve mentioned that as a teen I had to figure out a way to get birth control. I did it, but let’s face it, even in this age of information, there are those who will not be able to get the long-term protection they need to not get pregnant, with conversations at home looking a bit like this..
This program lets parents opt out, which to me is kind of a cop out. I’d rather they let parents opt-in meaning my child had to come to me with this paper in hand and ask me to let them be a part of the program. In my rainbows and unicorns kind of world I would hope it would foster a great conversation between me and my teenager where we would diligently talk about what I wanted for her, etc.
But I do have some questions. The report mentions that the Health Department is actually in control of giving out the medicine with a school nurse acting as a liaison to get the girls to a doctor. I would hope that these doctors have some sort of medical history for the student because birth control pills can be linked to other health problems and there are guidelines doctors need to follow. And as far as Plan B (the emergency contraceptive women take within 72 hours after they have unprotected sex or their barrier method of birth control fails) I would hope there is some monitoring as to how many times a student uses it. I’ve had to have some talks with friends who use Plan B like it is Plan A; I can’t imagine that’s good for your reproductive system. Again, these are conversations to have at home.
So what do you think? Are schools over stepping their boundaries or is this a great way to prevent teen pregnancy? Let’s hear ya!
Ella Rucker is a mother of a two-year-old girl and the guardian of two boys. She is currently working on dispelling the myth that being a “stay at home mom” has anything to do with staying at home. Ella moved from Ohio to New York City twelve years ago where she is currently assisting the head GEM and proving that sticking your neck out just might help you win the race. She loves to read about the “mental laws” and seeing them work in her life, but her greatest joy is laughing madly and wildly with her daughter who amazes her everyday. You can also find her writing for mochamanual.com or by following her tweets @ellalaverne.