Paul Harvey shocked me a little today when he announced that a Portland middle school had decided to offer free birth control pills and patches to its students. These students range from ages 11 to 13.
After his announcement, I had to search the web and find out more.
This is what I found.
King Middle School in Portland, Maine will be offering birth control pills and patches to the students.
The school has given out condoms to the students since 2002.
The students must get permission from their parents to be seen at the treatment center. However, the visit is confidential and parents do not have to be made aware of the treatment given or the contraceptive given.
Some do not agree with the school allowing students to receive these services.
The purpose of course is to reduce the number of teen pregnancies. However some feel that the parents should be responsible for taking care of these issues and the school should not get involved.
While I think that the school is trying to think in terms of the best interest of the children, I wonder how many children are taking part in sexual acts because the contraceptives are so easy to access.
Parents are required to give their child permission to visit the clinic. However, what will stop children with permission from sharing their contraceptives with children that do not have permission. I feel that this would be a big problem with items such as condoms.
It is also a worry that the early and long term use of birth control pills may lead to cancer.
The school assures that the students will not receive the birth control without a physical exam.
I think that perhaps 11 to 13 year old children are not ready to face issues such as birth control at school. While some may need counseling and birth control measures, parents should be able to access clinics off of school grounds.