16 & Pregnant: NYC Public Schools Give Girls A “Plan B”

Girls in class in high schoolYoung girls in public school in New York City have a reason to be sexually active and irresponsible all at the same time! The Department of Education is giving out morning-after pills (Plan B) and other birth-control drugs to its students. NYC public schools have been giving out condoms since the dawn of time, ok, well maybe a bit shorter than that, but now they’ve decided to step their birth control game up with their horny teens.
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According to The Post, “School nurse offices stocked with the contraceptives can dispense Plan B emergency contraception and other oral or injectable birth control to girls without telling their parents — unless parents opt out after getting a school informational letter about the new program.”
Plan B is typically available over-the-counter for women over the age of 18. CATCH (Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Health) is part of a citywide movement against the epidemic of teen pregnancy and they’re the ones responsible for providing birth control to students under the age of 18. With this CATCH program, students are able to tell their nurses that they’ve had unprotected sex the night before and the nurse will give them a Plan B pill.
The National Association of School Nurses claim that this may be the first time that Plan B bills have been given out in public schools. This fall, many students can expect to receive birth control in the form of Depo shots once every three months.
I never fully believed in the abstinence lessons educators would teach us in high school back in the day. Kids were “doing it” and they will always be “doing it” no matter how much teachers beg and plead them to abstain. I always thought that giving kids what they needed to be sexually responsible was a more intelligent move, ie. condoms and fully educating them on the risks of sex. With these powerful tools, young and hormonal teenagers could engage in sexual activities while being well-versed in protective measures against the ills of sex.
When I read this this story on Feministing about students being able to receive Plan B pills while in high school and without a parent’s consent, I thought…well, this is certainly a progressive idea. But is it irresponsible to offer mere children the option of taking a morning after pill or even allowing them to take birth control in various ways? Kids having sex is just irresponsible no matter how you look at it. In my humble opinion, you’re just not ready for sex when you’re a teenager.
Providing teens with pills that (in their young minds) fix mistakes from the night before is not the best solution. This is the type of problem with no real way to solve it. As I said before, kids are going to “do it” no matter what you tell them about sex. I remember seeing all the disgusting photos of leaking penises and red and swollen vaginas and thinking, “There’s no way I’m letting that happen to me!” These days, kids seem to be desensitized by just what could happen to their lives when good sex goes…bad.
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MTV has created an entire franchise based on sexually curious and irresponsible teens called “16 & Pregnant.” On that show, we see various girls with sob stories about how their (usually) good-for-nothing boyfriend knocked them up and now they’re stuck with the consequences of raising a child, as a child.
The girls from these chosen few NYC schools won’t be facing the same sad fate as the cast members of “16 & Pregnant” because they get to use various forms of birth-control at their own choosing. Oh, the lovely double-edged sword that is sexually active teenagers! There’s really no real way to avoid the cut. Like you, I wonder if birth-control gives these high schoolers a bigger desire to have sex?
I honestly believe that it does because when you’re a teenager, responsibility is not high on your priority list. But you know what is? Doing whatever is pleasing to you. At least that’s what I cared about when I was a teenager. Birth-control teaches young and impressionable youth that there are ways for you to have sex without consequences. I fear that teenagers don’t understand birth control and think it creates a cushion for them to fall back on when they slip up during hot and heavy makeout sessions. Ultimately, the problem with CATCH is that it will allow teens to drop the ball while between the sheets and reach for their faux safety net aka a Plan B pill the next day.

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