Let me get straight to the point: Should parents be flipping out because NYC high schools are offering emergency contraception -- otherwise known as the "morning-after pill" or Plan B -- to students? No. In fact, they should probably be grateful. Because the simple fact is teens are going to have sex. Not all of them, but quite a few of them. Sure, as parents we like to think that the way we raise our children -- the morals we instill, the standards we set -- will dictate which group they fall into, but that's just not true -- not all of the time. And to believe otherwise is dangerously naive.
I highly doubt kids are going to use emergency contraception as a get out of pregnancy free card, as some parents seem to fear. First of all, Plan B isn't a multivitamin or even a birth control -- you can't toss one back every morning. They're meant for occasional -- y'know, emergency -- use.
Now suppose your teen happens to have this type of emergency. And it's not like the two of you don't have a good relationship, you talk about stuff, but come on -- she's embarrassed! She's a kid! If it's a choice between telling you about a broken condom so you'll take her to the pharmacy (minors can't get Plan B without a prescription, even though it's usually sold over-the-counter) or just pretending nothing happened or hoping for the best, well, what would you have done as a teen? Emergency contraception in high schools makes sense for the same reason giving IUDs to our daughters makes sense. Because teens aren't responsible enough to be having sex. But they're going to have sex anyway.
What do you think about NYC high schools giving teens emergency contraception?
Image via Cory Doctorow/Flickr
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