The Corner

The Mandated End of Innocence

Once the federal government openly tramples on conscience rights in the name of public health, is it any surprise that New York City public schools would decide to dispense “emergency contraception” to girls without talking to their parents about it?

The New York Post reports:

For the CATCH program, students can tell a trained school nurse they had unprotected sex. The student will then get a test to see if she is already pregnant; if not, the prescription is issued and she can walk out with the pill.

The city expanded CATCH to 14 schools with more than 22,000 students over the past year. Officials dropped one, Seward Park Campus in lower Manhattan, because CATCH was overwhelming the medical office.

Parents at the 14 schools were sent letters informing them about CATCH. Parents may bar their kids from getting pregnancy tests or contraceptives if they sign and return an opt-out statement.

If they do not, schools can confidentially give the contraception without permission.

An average 1 to 2 percent of parents at each school have returned the opt-out sheets, said DOH spokeswoman Alexandra Waldhorn. . . .

some school insiders dislike the CATCH program’s lack of parental involvement and fear medical complications.

“We can’t give out a Tylenol without a doctor’ s order,” said a school staffer. “Why should we give out hormonal preparations with far more serious possible side effects, such as blood clots and hypertension?”

In the Post report, one mother says had no knowledge of having an opt-out option.

The New York Times points out that:

The private programs also offer morning-after pills and do not require parental consent, city officials said. If a parent opted out of the city-run contraception program, his or her child could still go to any community clinic or a school-based health center operated by a private organization and receive the contraception.

Does attending a public school in New York mean that families have no rights over their children, and on the most intimate health and moral matters? It certainly appears that way. For even if parents opt out, the girl will be sent to Planned Parenthood without their knowledge, it is pretty clear from the Times write-up. New York City public schools have written parents out of the picture when it comes to the sexual — and character development — of their teenagers.

As that staff member hints, if you want to talk public health, there’s an issue here too that pertains to a girls’ health. “We should question” the idea that “giving teens access to Plan B will work to decrease teenage pregnancies . . . because there is no evidence that it will, and in fact there is some evidence that the increased access will change teen behavior in a way that will result in an increase in sexually transmitted diseases,” Greg Pfundstein of the Chiaroscuro Foundation and the NYC Parents’ Choice Coalition, points out. “Now is as good a time as any to remind New York parents that school staff can take their daughters for an abortion during the school day without ever notifying them — no opt-out option at all. You must talk to your kids about sex,” he continues.

New York City doesn’t believe parents have a right to protect the innocence of their children, as much as that’s even manageable in our culture today.

“We believe that we do our young people a disservice when we teach them how to reduce their risk when we should be teaching them how to avoid it,” Pfundstein has wisely said in protesting a New York City Board of Education–mandated sex-ed program.

“If we had the courage, we’d challenge our preconceived ideas about teenage behavior and sexuality and would go back to the drawing board,” Dr. Anne Nolte of the Gianna Center told the Post at the time.

It’s a challenge, alright. But one we owe children to rise to — and liberty itself.

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