Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Commentary

October 4, 2012

Schools for contraception

New York City's public schools do a poor job educating kids. In fairness, though, that's not their expertise. What they excel at is giving out contraceptives.

If there were international comparisons of contraception access at schools, instead of math and reading scores, Singapore would have to look in envy at the achievements of New York City and wonder: What can we do to catch up? Task forces and commissions would be established to study the runaway success of America's greatest city.

New York's schools are outdoing themselves with their latest pedagogical initiative, the Orwellian-named CATCH program, for Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health. "Comprehensive health," of course, means only one particular kind of health, the equally euphemistic "reproductive health."

The schools are giving children the morning-after pill without notifying their parents, let alone getting their express approval. Think in loco parentis - if the parent were the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

The schools already provide free condoms. Soon enough, the mere distribution of condoms will seem the hallmark of a bygone, more innocent era, like something from the plot of a "Happy Days" episode.

The program to give out morning-after pills - and other oral and injected contraceptives - is now up and running in 13 schools. It is an extension from last year's start in five schools, when more than 550 students received emergency contraception. Parents have to explicitly choose to "opt out" of the program, which, as any behavioral economist will tell you, strongly tips the balance toward its passive acceptance.

The morning-after pill, or Plan B, is a contraceptive but it is possible - although disputed - that it acts like an abortifacient as well. Its distribution is another step down the slippery slope toward the provision of abortion in the schools. If that sounds outlandish, just wait. Ten years ago, free morning-after pills with no parental notification would have seemed the stuff of dystopian social-conservative fantasy.

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