Note: I’m re-publishing various past posts we were able to recover from Word Press after they shut us down. This step is necessary to have them appear on our new blog.
King5: At least 1,000 high school girls went to the nurse to talk about getting birth control at school, and their parents may never find out, even if they decide to begin treatment. That’s the law, actually. In Washington, minors can access birth control without parental permission — even at school.
Seattle-King County Public Health updated the city council on Wednesday about its school health program providing medical care at 26 middle and high schools in Seattle. The health centers are run by private organizations, like Swedish and Group Health, and are nothing like the nurse’s office you may remember.
The county knows 1,293 high schoolers discussed birth control options, like the pill, IUDs and arm implants, with the school health center. There are no records for the number of high schoolers who decided to get birth control at school. The county says 49 middle schoolers discussed the same options, some as young as 13 years old.
Of the 49 middle school girls, four obtained a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC). The health department said no middle school girl obtained an IUD; instead, the 4 girls received an arm-implantable contraceptive device.
Sara Rigel with Seattle Public Health says for the 15-17 year old group there was a 92% reduction in teen birth rates from 1990 to 2013. That’s far better than numbers outside King County where there was only a 62% drop. (No links provided for these statistics.)
In line with state law, student health centers at Seattle Public Schools provide all forms of contraception to all students, including long-acting reversible contraceptives or IUDs. The goal is to lower the number of girls dropping out of school because they become pregnant. And they do so with or without parental notification.
When asked if a child as young as 12 years old could get an IUD through a middle school clinic, Rigel said if a 6th grader asked for birth control, they would be provided it as long as they did not appear to be the victim of abuse. She said the clinic would ask a lot of questions before providing contraception.
I’m all for reducing unwanted pregnancies. But is it acceptable for schools to provide medications without parental knowledge? Just wish some parents would take more interest in their child’s activities and well being.