Are New York City high schools too quick to resort to Plan B? According to the New York Times, thirteen New York City public schools currently offer Plan-B, better known as the morning-after pill, to students ages fourteen through eighteen. These New York City high schools claim their new program: CATCH (Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Healthcare) which includes providing Plan B as well as other contraceptives to students age 14-18, has not experienced one objection from parents or the community. However, I find that hard to believe.
First of all, unless parents write a letter to the school stating they would like to opt-out of the CATCH contraceptive program, their child can go to the nurses office, receive the Plan-B pill, and leave, without the parent ever being notified. I can’t imagine too many parents content with the fact that their fourteen year old daughter is able to go out, have unprotected sex on Friday night with a sense of security that she can go get the Plan-B pill Monday morning at school, no questions asked.
It’s no secret that kids are having sex younger these days, but that doesn’t change the maturity level of a fourteen year old. Bottom line is this: at fourteen, most young girls aren’t emotionally or intellectually ready to handle the responsibility of sex let alone contraception. The false sense of security caused by the availability of Plan-B at school may very well increase the amount of sexual activity in the school.
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While this plan may reduce teen pregnancy among students in New York City public schools, a few major flaws are being overlooked. First and foremost, the Plan-B pill has proven effective in preventing pregnancy, however, like any contraceptive, it provides no protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Also, the long-term side affects of multiple use of the Plan-B pill are still very uncertain!
Schools needs to put more focus and money into educating the youth about the potential consequences of unprotected sex instead of jumping to Plan-B, literally.
What do you think?
Agree or disagree with Plan-B being offered in public high schools?
words by: Maya Brown
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