The War on Girls: NYC Schools Pushing Plan B on Young Girls

In an act of disregard for the health and welfare of young girls, the New York City school system is handing out morning-after pills to girls as young as 14, sometimes before the girls have even had sex.

The morning after pill involves taking higher than normal doses of hormones, which, evidently, concerns almost no one, not even most of the girls’ parents. Parents in the NYC school system can sign an opt-out form for their daughters, but less than 2% have done so. I would imagine that part of the reason for this parental indifference is the way that “Plan B” has been pushed on our society. The risks associated with taking these hormones, especially when they are used as a form of birth control, are minimized or not discussed.

According to the Population Research Council:

At home and abroad, the abortion, family planning, and population control groups which seek to promote MAP ignore the scientifically-proven risks of levonorgestrel (the sole active ingredient of Plan B MAP). These well-documented adverse side effects include significant weight gain (on average 15 pounds), depression, ovarian cyst enlargement, gallbladder disease, high blood pressure, respiratory disorders,4increased risk of ectopic pregnancy5 and death. In some women, these serious adverse effects of levonorgestrel-type MAP could lead to further health risks for bulimia, anorexia, or clinical depression.

While these risks are multiplied with increased use, the advocates of MAP promote its increased, frequent, and repeated use. The makers of Plan-B, MAP suggest it “can be provided as frequently as needed,”6 as if it were candy or Tums. The wholesale promotion by the profiteers is undercut by solid evidence, and warnings advising women and physicians to limit usage, or to not use it at all.7 Norplant, the drug very similar to Plan B, was linked to severe medical problems which were never adequately studied or acknowledged by the FDA or the drug manufacturer (please see PRI’s Norplant information page, posted athttp://www.pop.org/main.cfm?

Also, the psychological pressure this puts young girls under to engage in sex is usually left out of the discussion. I have counseled young women in a crisis pregnancy center. I found that a lot of the young women were not engaging in sex because they enjoyed it. They said that they felt it was required of them. A lot of these girls seemed to have no idea that they could say “no.”

Plan B increases the pressure on young girls to engage in unwanted sex, since it gives boys the argument that they can always “get the morning after pill” from the school nurse. According to an article in the Sunday Times Magazine, quoted by ProLife Alliance:

A group of girls from a deprived area explained the morning after pill was just another way for men to force them into sex. The way these men see it, if there is no possibility of pregnancy, there is no reason for the woman not to have sex with them. One girl said “If you say you don’t want to have sex, they say ‘Give it up, don’t be silly, get down the clinic [to get the morning after pill].’” Another remarked that “boys push you into sex by saying you can take it the next day.”  These women believed that the morning after pill had reinforced their sexual subjection, helping men to force them into sex and placing sole responsibility for the consequences onto their shoulders.

Even affluent young women from public schools, who did not feel forced into sex, were in a less empowered position as a result of the morning after pill.  One said “It’s like it doesn’t matter how drunk you’ve been, or what happened”, because you can still take the morning after pill.  Another noted that she had taken the morning after pill “after a one-night stand where I was so drunk I couldn’t remember the next day if we had used protection.”  The morning after pill reassures them they can get so drunk they lose all memory without consequences.  But the morning after pill only protects them from pregnancy.  When they are that drunk, they are not empowered; they are often incapable of making sexual choices and open to sexual assault and other violence.

In addition to health risks from Plan B itself and the risk of being blackmailed into sex they don’t want, the morning after pill is an abortifacient. Like most of the other risks associated with this drug, the possibility of tricking a young girl into an abortion by schools who are pushing this drug on them does not seem to be addressed. In fact, the drug is touted as a panacea for avoiding abortion. According to a CNA article:

… the most recent study (2007) by Doctors Mikolajczyk and Stanford of the Department of Medicine in Public Health of the University of Bielefeld (Germany) clearly indicates that the pill’s “real effect” includes mechanisms that prevent implantation.

Published by the magazine Fertility and Sterility, the study used data from multiple clinical studies with advanced mathematical models and concluded that if emergency contraception only inhibited ovulation its true effectiveness would only be in a range of 8-49 percent.  If it acted before ovulation and if it inhibited ovulation completely, its true effectiveness would be between 16-90 percent.  The rest of the pill’s effectiveness consists in its anti-implantation mechanisms, which cause an abortion.

As usually happens in these so-called efforts at reducing teen pregnancy, the one person whose welfare is not considered is the girl, and the one person whose responsibility is not addressed is the boy. This pushing of a dangerous drug on young women at such a young age is, in my opinion, just the old sexual double standard, retro-fitted for today’s culture.

The article below discusses this in more detail.

NEW YORK (AP) — It’s a campaign believed to be unprecedented in its size and aggressiveness: New York City is dispensing the morning-after pill to girls as young as 14 at more than 50 public high schools, sometimes even before they have had sex.

The effort to combat teen pregnancy in the nation’s largest city contrasts sharply with the views of politicians and school systems in more conservative parts of the country.

Valerie Huber, president of the National Abstinence Education Association in Washington, calls it “a terrible case once again of bigotry of low expectations” — presuming that teen girls will have sex anyway, and effectively endorsing that.

But some doctors say more schools should follow New York’s lead …

… New York’s program was phased in at health clinics at about 40 schools in the 1-million-student school system starting about four years ago. Since January 2011, it has expanded to 13 additional schools that don’t have clinics. The little-known program was reported on Sunday by the New York Post.

Nurse practitioners or physicians dispense the pills, and parents can sign an opt-out form preventing their daughters from taking part. Only about 1 to 2 percent of parents have opted out, according to the city Health Department. (read more here.)

  • http://theraineyview.wordpress.com Serena

    It was already so scary when I was 14. I feel sorry for young girls now. Especially in the big cities.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I know. I do too.

  • http://servusfidelis.wordpress.com David Smith

    It is outrageous as well as unconscionable. Thanks for the post.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you David. It is totally outrageous.

      Good to see you here, btw.

  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com/ Jessica Hoff

    This is wrong on so many levels that it is hard to know how you managed to get it all into one piece – one of your best, Rebecca.

  • Arkenaten

    Are you more upset because the girls are under-age and there are health risks or the fact that the MAP is an abortifacient?
    What would the reaction be if they were given condoms instead?

    • http://ackans.com Mr. V.

      Arkenaten,

      This program is wrong period. I don’t think a school should be doing anything to promote sexuality on the part of underage students. The drug is also a moderate to severe health risk, which even if there were no moral issues as well, would be enough, I think, to warrant that such a program not be instituted.

      To answer your second question, I would be almost as much opposed to the passing out of condoms. I don’t believe a school system has any business of getting in the business of parenting, or pushing their vision of what’s moral when it comes to sex.

      Christian or atheist, I think that’s something we can all agree upon, if one takes the time to reflect on the issue. Schools should be living up to their primary purpose, which is educating children in the necessary subjects, i.e., Math, English, Science, History, etc.

      Before you make this into an attack on Christians and their morals and beliefs, let me ask you what your thoughts would be if the public school system did a 180 and began teaching Christian morals and beliefs? Would you be happy? Or would you object?

      Things like this have no place in schools. I hold that the public school system should confine itself to teaching the subjects as I’ve listed above. They have no business teaching religion, any religion, or attacking and/or subverting religious and moral beliefs on the part of its students and their parents.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        I just saw this. It’s very well said.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      This whole thing is so egregious I’m not going to try to pick out parts and pieces of what’s wrong with it and rate them as to which is worst. That kind of discussion inevitably leads to the idea that some part of it is acceptable. None of this is acceptable. The whole business is bad.

      As for condoms, I have a couple of thoughts. First, this simply is not the function of a school. They can’t buy enough textbooks, but they can buy contraceptives??? Second, it’s not necessary. I can walk about 8 blocks and come to a pharmacy which has condoms, as well as many other contraceptives, hanging on the wall for anyone to walk in and buy. I could then cross the street to a major discount chain and find an even larger display of contraceptives. I would guess that this easy availability is even more prevalent (although I wonder how it could be, since this is close to total saturation) in NYC.

      The thing you aren’t seeing is that these drugs are highly profitable to somebody. Passing them out at schools is making a lot of money … for somebody. The whole marketing of contraception as a panacea for social ills is aligned with making money … for somebody.

      I’m not trying to argue the relative merits of contraception vs no contraception. That is a settled issue in this country. People have a right to buy contraceptives if they want them. What I’m saying is that the way it’s being marketed to children, is both highly profitable and based on inaccurate assumptions.

    • http://fpb.livejournal.com/ Fabio P.Barbieri

      This question belongs to the “when did you stop beating your wife” category. IN other words, it implies a guilt you want to push on Rebecca and the rest of us. You are trying to argue that if the drug wasn’t an abortifacient none of us would give a hoot. Well, if it wasn’t an abortifacient it would not be a “day after” pill, because any baby already conceived would not escape it. So Doctor Frankenstein and Co. Ltd. would not have bothered designing, making and selling it. So the issue is false and never would arise. But let us grant you your point: where did you get the notion that we are only fixated on one issue (abortion) to the exclusion of anything else? is that the impression you get from Rebecca’s blog? No; it is one of the cheapest, dumbest and falsest pro-abortion cliches – “pro-lifers only care for life until it’s born, then it can rot or starve for all they care.” False; and to see just how false it is, ask yourself who, historically, built all the orphanages, all the adoption services, all the free schools, and all the charities. Hint: it wasn’t Planned Parenthood.

      In actual fact, any thoroughly wrong act has a cloud of wrong precedents, wrong features and wrong results that means that it can be attacked from dozens of different viewpoints. Slavery is an outrage against the dignity of man; it is also economically inefficient. It also is directly connected with illegitimate sex and leads to the birth of slave children who are denied their rights as children of their slaveholder-fathers. But the person who claims that those who oppose it only oppose it because it is economically inefficient, or because it offers ugly opportunities for illegitimate sex, or because it makes a mockery of family links and obligations, are missing the point by a mile. All those things go together. Because a slave does not have the dignity of a free man, he is going to be less determined and willing in the work he does, achieve less, be less willing to learn and work hard,; because his (or her) basic humanity is denied, the features of that humanity, such as marriage and family links, are stunted, polluted or outright denied; because female slaves especially have no defence against the worst instincts of their owners, they are inevitably victims of them. And so on. The same is true of any other wrong thing – banditry, tyranny, abortion; you name it. There will always be dozens of reasons to criticize it, and nothing would be more foolish than the canting question: “if it didn”t have this or that feature, would you be so keen to abolish it?”

  • http://ackans.com Mr. V.

    It is unconscionable. You know, 30 years ago, the idea that a school system would try to pull something like this off would have been not only unthinkable, but inconceivable as well. Shows how far we’ve plummeted in the last few years, I guess. But what boggles my mind more than anything else is not that the City of New York is doing this, but that so many parents are just letting them do it. If even half of the parents made a stand and told the city to scrap it or their kids would be removed, I believe the program would be scrapped. Can’t lose half of the students.

  • Virginia

    As a former school nurse, I can tell you exactly why fewer than 2% of parents have opted out of this program. There are basically 2 ways to get the opt-out forms home: send them with students or mail them. My experience with that age group is that only a small fraction of forms sent home ever get home and an even smaller fraction of those are ever actually seen by the parents. My district had a high return rate for materials mailed home due to people moving or giving false (and even non-existent) addresses when enrolling their children. And we required rent receipts or utility bills to prove that students were in the right district when they enrolled! Gotta love opt-out; if you don’t opt out, your daughter is in and if you never saw the form, too bad, your daughter is still in. I’ll bet more will opt out now that they know about the program.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Virginia, I’ll bet you’re right. At the VERY least, it should be opt in for anything controversial. If I had a daughter, I think I’d opt out of the public schools altogether. I homeschooled mine. If that wasn’t an option, I’d talk to other parents about forming a co-op or something. No way would I trust my precious child to people who would do this.

  • http://greenlightlady.wordpress.com Wendy Macdonald

    The slippery slope just keeps on getting slicker ( and sicker!). Hormone pills given to teens – sounds like a disaster to me. Never mind the health risks and potential killing of an embryo. I am so glad that my 12 year old daughter wants to be homeschooled. I am also glad that her older brother is a tough guy who warns any guys not to be rude etc. to his sister. I wouldn’t want to mess with my son, if I was a guy!
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Wendy, that sounds like they have a good Mom to me!

  • http://jscafenette.com Manny

    I live in NYC so I’ve read the local papers on this. What I remember reading is that it’s an experiment in 13 high schools thorughout the city, schools where pregnancy is a problem. However, this is flat out immoral. No one should be giving out abortifacients. I know parents can opt out, but don’t think that their child will still not get a hold of them through friends who do not. This just feels dirty.

    I have a three year old son, and while we haven’t made this decision yet, consider this another nail in the coffin of sending him to public school. Between this, graphic sex ed at young ages, homosexual agenda, and moral relativism public school does not feel clean.

    • http://jscafenette.com Manny

      Correction. This started at 13 high schools but now I see in several papers it’s up to over 50.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        I find this interesting Manny. It began, as these population control at the expense of the girl things often seem to, by being aimed at “problem” areas. I’m going to take a guess that the “problem” schools were in the less affluent areas. Then, again as these things often seem to, it spread.
        There are so many problems with this, I can’t count them all. Far too many for a comment section.
        Thank you for sharing this information.

    • dufekin

      In “schools where pregnancy is a problem,” one of three conditions invariably must exist:
      (1) the pregnancies occur among married women who have attained such age and maturity that they validly and voluntarily can contract marriage. According to canon 1083.1, “A man cannot validly enter marriage before the completion of his sixteenth year of age, nor a woman before the completion of her fourteenth year.” In New York civil law, a 14-year-old boy or girl apparently can get married with the consent of both parents and a judge. This description might apply in certain neighborhoods with high concentrations of particular immigrant populations, especially those from destitute countries where brief life expectancy makes such youthful marriages optimal for perpetuation of the family or tribe. Many Muslim girls also get married very young, but a considerable proportion of these relationships do not commence voluntarily on the part of the girl. In these cases, the use of abortifacients undermines the purpose of the marital vocation. Nevertheless, the free availability of such drugs easily could lead to coercion in their distribution.
      (2) The fathers of the children lack proper respect for the mothers of said children. This condition occurs all too frequently. Boys acting from some combination of ignorance, social expectation, pride, demonic influence, lust, and increasingly pornographic addiction maintain a degraded view of girls as something less than pieces of meat. They act on this worldview, coercing these girls into offering nominal consent to an effective sexual assault. These often transient relationships do not involve love (a willingness to sacrifice for the good of the other) but lust alone.

      When a man or boy views girls as the creatures of the Most High, adopted daughters of God, that they are, whom the Father made and intended for beautiful vocations as wives and mothers or as nuns or sisters, then he dares not consider violating girls in this way. But when he views girls as mere giggling sex toys, objects for his own perverse perceived self-gratification as long as they suit his fancy and then simply discarded, then pregnancies do occur.

      But this terrible abuse of women also causes other problems. First it does not make the boys happy, content, joyful, or even satisfied or gratified: nothing can satiate their disordered appetites and wrongful passions because they need the love and mercy of Christ and His grace that they might reorder and control their appetites and His wisdom that they might understand why He created girls and how to interact with them. Unfortunately, nothing in their environments except the Church–often forgotten, ignored, unattended, or unperceived–and the Law that God wrote on their hearts can direct them to a correct and increasingly intensely counter-cultural view of the girls and women in their midst. Please pray for them. Someone somewhere must teach them the meaning of Love and how and why to reflect, imitate, and practice it in their lives. But New York City public schools clearly corporately fail in this endeavor. But how, I wonder, did such terrible abuse of women ever get so socially and even legally acceptable, especially considering the long apparent progress of the movement for the purported emancipation of women?

      Second, this conduct contributes to the spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and various other venereal diseases. The abortifacients here distributed cannot perceptibly reduce the incidence of any of these diseases. Instead, they encourage or enable the perpetuation of abuse of girls and women that spreads these diseases to both females and males. This pattern effectively perpetuates a public health catastrophe. Moreover, many of those so infected (or parents of minors so infected) likely do not possess already nor will attain soon the necessary financial means to afford any available treatments or cures for these diseases. Even in the best of circumstances, some of these diseases lead to a slow, painful premature death.

      Third, no one considers the effects of these policies on the newly conceived children. Even the great state representative (could you please move to my district and run here for office?) states, “the one person whose welfare is not considered is the girl,” treating the newly conceived and quickly poisoned baby as a non-person. Oklahoma law admittedly does not recognize a pre-born baby as a person, so Representative Hamilton does not err here. Despite the horrendous circumstances surrounding the conception, God still created that baby and endowed him or her with a right to life, and He did so for a reason: that His people might turn to Him and accept His saving grace, to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him. Instead, New York City public schools distributes these drugs that, beyond any deleterious effects upon the girl, poison the child to death quietly and anonymously to us. But our God hears the cries and feels the pain of His dear innocent children so poisoned, and He is coming soon. And what does this tell fathers (and mothers) about the value of their own progeny, about the value of the often abandoned paternal vocation, about the value of their own lives? Our society cares not a whit about them, prefers to poison them even to death rather than to educate or even school them.

      These boys listen to their crass culture and all too often conform to its expectations for them. Surely New York City and its public schools, within the scope of the actual and perceived Constitutional limits on their authority, can expect better of its boys. Something must change, and if we do not change it, we shall have no posterity upon which to confer the blessings of liberty, if even we knew what freedom means in the eyes of nature and nature’s God. Our God will not stand silent forever while we massacre millions of His innocent bundles of joy whom He sends us. And even if He did, then our society almost surely still would collapse from the resultant demographic winter as our economy even now is doing.

      (3) The problematic pregnancies occur in species other than humans (for example, cats or rats). In this case, animal trapping, pet sterilization, or chemical pesticide could reduce the problem more effectively. Abortifacients can contaminate the water supply and thereby reduce the proportion of males; however, this method of delivery causes massive environmental harm to non-target species and makes no sense given the easy availability of vastly more effective, properly targeted alternative strategies.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        I’ll try to address your many points in order. There’s too much to hit it all, so I’ll just do the high points. If I miss something you want to talk about, just post again. Here we go:

        1. You raise several points here, but the one I’m going to zero in on is the fact that the way these drugs are being distributed can lead t coercion in their distribution. I think this is spot-on. I don’t think there’s any doubt it will and probably has already happened.
        2. The fathers of the children lack proper respect for their own children. This is a widespread disgrace to manhood in our country. Our society degrades not only young women with this hyper sexualization (as you note) but young men, as well. A man who does not protect, defend, love and cherish his own children is not a man. You raise all sorts of other points I agree with, as well, btw. Lots of good stuff here, including the life of the child. I only touched on that when I mentioned that the drugs are abortifacient and then I talked about it from the viewpoint of the abuse of lying to young girls and tricking them into abortions they don’t know about. But you are right: There is a child here, and it’s life is not just being forfeited, it’s very existence is being denied. That carries disregard of human life to a whole new level, doesn’t it?
        3. You didn’t say this, but the morning after pill is in some ways analogous to “animal trapping, pet sterilization or chemical pesticide” only we’re doing it to our own precious daughters.

        Thanks for this great comment.

  • Arkenaten

    3rd time lucky?
    Just to make it clear, I do not agree with this policy.

  • Arkenaten

    Yay, I didn’t get deleted….:)

  • http://motherwifestudentworker.wordpress.com Claudia

    What an awful way to teach a growing girl about sexuality and life. Giving out the pill is plain wrong.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Claudia, this isn’t just “the pill.” It’s the so-called morning after pill which contains higher doses of hormones and is not meant to be taken over and over. However, there are no restraints on doing this. Also, the morning-after pill (also called Plan B) is an abortifacient. Yet they are giving it out in our schools, without parental consent. This, in my opinion, is a disregard of the health and welfare of the girls.

  • Ted Seeber

    In my state (Oregon) we just had our pro-life chair of the Knights of Columbus send out a very disturbing bit of info he got in his classroom. He’s a public school teacher at Besnon High in Portland. Planned Parenthood is moving in big time in the Oregon high schools, and has started a program called Teen Outreach (TOP). He forwarded me the permission slip for TOP- which asked parents to sign not just medical rights- but PHOTOGRAPHIC rights away for their kids. Apparently they were paying kids $5 for each signed permission slip turned in.

    Is TOP Planned Parenthood’s child pornography arm?

  • http://catholibertariandotcom.wordpress.com Teresa Rice

    The sexual objectification of women continues…. This is awful. At that point of time of young girls’ lives they are going through hormones or hormonal changes and there is so much peer pressure. Besides the pill and Plan-B being unhealthy this puts added pressure on young girls to have sex. Sex should not be considered the “norm” or the appropriate thing to do for a 14-year old. Sex shouldn’t be considered a good hobby to take part in but is a sacred act between the married couple.

  • V

    My health was ruined by birth control. I saw an endocrinologist when I was 15– he told me never to take birth control. He was a researcher who worked on the development of the Pill– so he had no “political” agenda to tell me so, save my health. He even said that every [birth control] Pill worked exactly the same way, as far as the endocrine system is concerned, so don’t listen to any gynecologist about how they are different.

    EVERY gyno I saw after that pushed the pill on me. It’s worse than handing it out like candy– even the doctors themselves seem unaware of the health risks. This was especially true of female doctors. When I told those doctors that one of the top endocrinologists in the nation (actually true) said that I should’t, they equivocated and bowled me over with sheer ferocity. I was a teen, what do you want? I didn’t really have rights as a patient until I became an adult. I was practically forced to take them by my doctor, swearing that my mild PCOS would completely go away. Well.. it didn’t. It got worse. And now I have serious and chronic health problems as a result.

    But I suppose they have to counter balance the fuss that parents should be making over giving every boy over the age of twelve SPEED in place of discipline. Talk about another miscarriage of justice in the name of a Brave New World. This is what we get when we hand over the education of our children to pragmatic, secular and governmental “experts”.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      This is just my personal opinion, but I wonder if the huge rise in breast cancer we’ve seen in the past 40 years is related to the birth control pill. I regard the way that this was pushed on women without adequate testing as misogyny. I don’t think that would have happened with a pill that did similar things to men.


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