‘Plan B’ birth control for K-12 schools: Tolstoy was right about families

26 Sep

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Tolstoy begins Anna Karenina with this quote:

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, Chapter 1, first lineRussian mystic & novelist (1828 – 1910)

Which brings us to the state of families in contemporary society. There have been several high profile instances of folk intervening in the lives of children to provide them with condoms and other methods of birth control. In 2010 there was an instance described by Cara Pallone of the Statesman Journal of Oregon. She wrote an article about a Halloween incident which describes the cultural divide which currently exists in this culture. On the one hand, are the Sex and The City mavens who advocate sex with anything with a pulse. On the other hand, are those who espouse what is commonly described as traditional values and who advocate a bit more restraint. Pallone reports in the article, Condoms for Halloween Trick-Or-Treaters

Some teenage trick-or-treaters received condoms in their bags on Halloween night in Silverton.

For the couple who handed out the prophylactics, the act was a community service, health education and a message of pregnancy prevention.

For the father of one 14-year-old girl who got them, the act was an intrusion of family privacy and a violation of his right to raise his daughter as he wishes…..

Is providing condoms to teenagers a pragmatic strategy to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, or is it an unintended signal that promotes promiscuity? Or did the Harrises just overstep?

“It is hard for me as a parent to imagine any justification for giving children condoms without parents’ consent,” Côté said. “It’s inappropriate. I want to deal in my own house with my own children.”

Kathleen Harris said she started handing out condoms to high school-age trick-or-treaters in college, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, before she moved to Silverton. She has continued the tradition for the past 24 years in an effort to curb teen pregnancy and STDs….

“It’s harm reduction,” Kathleen Harris said. “Kids are going to do these things anyway, so we want them to have to at least think about it ahead of time.”

That’s not the message that Côté says he hears.

“By providing kids with condoms, you’re promoting sexual activity no matter how you look at it,” Côté said, adding that he respects the Harrises’ opinions and values, but that they shouldn’t impose them on other people.

“It’s definitely a subject reserved for family, not some neighbor I hardly know in a neighborhood somewhere,” he said.

At least one expert would agree.

It is parents who know their kids best, said Steve Stephens, a Clackamas psychologist. Strangers giving condoms to teenagers forces them to address sexual issues that they may not be ready to discuss.

“These are the sorts of issues the parents need to be able to talk to kids about when children are ready, or when they come to them to ask questions,” said Stephens, who works with Every Marriage Matters, a nonprofit group that works to stabilize families.

Côté was especially upset with the way the condoms were delivered — on Halloween, to trick-or-treaters.

Moi wrote about a Massachusetts school district’s decision to give condoms to children in WOW: Massachusetts school district to give condoms to 12-year-olds http://drwilda.com/2012/03/19/wow-massachusetts-school-district-to-give-condoms-to-12-year-olds/

The latest intervention in what should be the prerogative of the family is New York City’s plan to offer “Plan B” contraceptives in city schools. Alexandra Sifferlin has written the excellent Time article, New York City Schools Offer Plan B to High School Students:

In Jan. 2011, New York City quietly launched a pilot program to dispense free prescription contraceptives, including birth control pills and the morning-after pill, Plan B, to students at more than a dozen public high schools in the city.

The program, known as CATCH, for Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Healthcare, is an expansion of an existing, privately administered program that has run health centers in about 40 city schools over the past several years, offering students primary health care services as well as contraception, including oral birth control pills and Plan B.

In early 2011, CATCH launched in five New York City schools; this year, the program is in 13 schools. All schools were chosen because they are in neighborhoods that lack nearby clinics or health services or because they have high teen pregnancy rates. While public high schools around the country have offered condoms for students for years, CATCH is thought to be the first to provide contraceptive pills. The program works with city health department doctors and trained school nurses to give students a fuller range of contraceptive services, including pregnancy tests.

So far, city officials said, parents have not resisted the program. Parents were notified of the program by letter, and were given the opportunity to opt out by signing a form. Children of parents who don’t opt out can then visit the school nurse and receive contraception, or get a pregnancy test and Plan B after having unprotected sex, without explicitly notifying their parents. About 1% to 2% of parents have opted out, according to the health department.

We’ve had no negative reaction to the CATCH program,” Deborah Kaplan, assistant commissioner of the health department’s Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health, told NBC News. “We haven’t had one objection. We’ve just had the opt-outs.”

Parents must be involved in the discussion of sex with their children and discuss THEIR values long before the culture has the chance to co-op the children. Moi routinely posts the number of Planned Parenthood at the blog along with information about the vacuous and troubled lives of Sex and the City aficionados and troubled pop tarts like Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton. Kids need to know that much of the life style glamorized in the media often comes at a very high personal cost. Problem is too many parents have opted out of the role of parent, don’t know how to be a parent and/or think their role is to be their child’s friend and not parent.

Because some children have ineffective parents, the child, the society and any potential offspring of the child pay the price. It is time for some speak the truth, get down discussion. An acquaintance who practices family law told me this story about paternity. A young man left Seattle one summer to fish in Alaska. He worked on a processing boat with 30 or40 others. He had sex with this young woman. He returned to Seattle and then got a call from her saying she was pregnant. He had been raised in a responsible home and wanted to do the right thing for this child. His mother intervened and demanded a paternity test. To make a long story, short. He wasn’t the father. In the process of looking out for this kid’s interests, my acquaintance had all the men on the boat tested and none of the other “partners” was the father. Any man that doesn’t have a paternity test is a fool.

If you are a slut, doesn’t matter whether you are a male or female you probably shouldn’t be a parent.

How to tell if you are a slut?

  1. If you are a woman and your sex life is like the Jack in the Box 24-hour drive through, always open and available. Girlfriend, you’re a slut.
  1. If you are a guy and you have more hoes than Swiss cheese has holes. Dude, you need to get tested for just about everything and you are a slut. 

Humans have free will and are allowed to choose how they want to live. What you do not have the right to do is to inflict your lifestyle on a child. So, the responsible thing for you to do is go to Planned Parenthood or some other outlet and get birth control for yourself and the society which will have to live with your poor choices. Many religious folks are shocked because I am mentioning birth control, but most sluts have few religious inklings or they wouldn’t be sluts. A better option for both sexes, if this lifestyle is a permanent option, is permanent birth control to lessen a contraception failure. People absolutely have the right to choose their particular lifestyle. You simply have no right to bring a child into your mess of a life. I observe people all the time and I have yet to observe a really happy slut. Seems that the lifestyle is devoid of true emotional connection and is empty. If you do find yourself pregnant, please consider adoption.

Let’s continue the discussion. Some folks may be great friends, homies, girlfriends, and dudes, but they make lousy parents. Could be they are at a point in their life where they are too selfish to think of anyone other than themselves, they could be busy with school, work, or whatever. No matter the reason, they are not ready and should not be parents. Birth control methods are not 100% effective, but the available options are 100% ineffective in people who are sexually active and not using birth control. So, if you are sexually active and you have not paid a visit to Planned Parenthood or some other agency, then you are not only irresponsible, you are Eeeevil. Why do I say that, you are playing Russian Roulette with the life of another human being, the child. You should not ever put yourself in the position of bringing a child into the world that you are unprepared to parent, emotionally, financially, and with a commitment of time. So, if you find yourself in a what do I do moment and are pregnant, you should consider adoption.

Why the rant? Live Science reports in the article, 1 in 6 Teen Moms Say They Didn’t Believe They Could Get Pregnant:

Half of teen mothers say they were not using birth control when they got pregnant, and a new report outlines the reasons teens give for not doing so.

Of teen moms who reported not using birth control, 31 percent said they did not believe they could get pregnant at the time. To decrease teen birth rates, teens need factual information about the conditions under which pregnancy can occur, along with public health efforts aimed at reducing or delaying teens’ sexual activities, according to the report released today by researchers for the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Others gave various reasons for not using birth control — 24 percent said their partner did not want to use contraception, 13 percent said they had trouble getting birth control, 9 percent said they experienced side effects from using contraception and 8 percent said they thought their sex partner was sterile. Twenty-two percent of the teens said they did not mind getting pregnant.

Health care providers and parents can work to prevent teen pregnancy by increasing teens’ motivation to avoid pregnancy; providing access to contraception and encouraging the use of more effective methods, and strengthening the skills of teens to negotiate contraceptive use with their partners….

Research has shown that teens who report using birth control do not use it consistently, the report noted. One survey found that among sexually active teens who reported using condoms, only 52 percent said they used a condom every time they had sex.

The rates of not using birth control did not vary among teens of different racial groups — whether white, black or Hispanic, about half the teens reported not using birth control when they became pregnant.

There were some differences among the groups in terms of the reasons teens gave for not using birth control. Forty-two percent of Hispanic teens reported not using contraception because they did not think they could get pregnant at the time, whereas 32 percent of black teens gave that reason and 27 percent of white teens did.

Previous research has shown that 17 percent of all sexually active teens report not using birth control when they last had sex….

About 400,000 U.S. teens ages 15 to 19 give birth each year, which gives the United States the highest teen birth rate in the developed world, according to the report.

Teen mothers are more likely than others to drop out of school, and infants born to teens are more likely to have low birth weight, putting them at risk for a number of health conditions, and lower academic achievement, according to the report.

Parents and guardians must have age-appropriate conversations with their children and communicate not only their values, but information about sex and the risks of sexual activity.

Which brings us back to Tolstoy, happy families are just that and they communicate their values to their children. Unhappy families, or given the contemporary context, unhappy associations are more likely to abdicate their responsibilities to each other and any children produced from that association. Parents not only have the right, but the duty to communicate their values to their children. That is the problem with the contemporary context, too few folks know what their values are because, after all, one shouldn’t judge.

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