NYC Parents Irate over School Birth Control Program

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NEW YORK CITY -- Parents in New York City are protesting a new program that makes the controversial birth control pill Plan B available to girls in more than 50 public high schools.

Many parents and opponents say the city is trying to take the parents' place.

At a recent news conference, child psychiatrist Dr. Miriam Grossman noted that the schools actively try to scare students about what harm even one cigarette can do, but not about the possible consequences of a sexual encounter.

"There can still be a pregnancy," Grossman warned. "You can still get herpes. Herpes: lifelong.  Other STDs, HIV - these can all occur as the result of one poor decision."

Some 7,000 girls got pregnant last year in the Big Apple, with 64 percent of those pregnancies aborted.
 
Greg Pfundstein, executive director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation, predicted the controversial new program will just lead to more risky behavior, likely meaning more pregnancies and abortions.

"You end up with actually more sexual behavior and you end up with higher risk behavior and you end up with an increase in STDs," he told CBN News.

"And you have no change in the number of pregnancies and no change in the number of abortions because people have actually changed their behavior based on their perception of risk," he explained.

Those who oppose the program admitted that only 1 to 2 percent of parents have opted their children out of getting Plan B, also known as the morning after pill, if they need it. However, they say many parents are complaining they never received the opt-out notice.

"You cannot send a child on a class trip in the New York City schools without a parent opting in and signing a consent form. So if they can reach the parents about class trips, why can't they reach the parents about this?" Nanci Coppola, executive director of Program Reach, asked.

New York City Councilman Fernando Cabrera agreed.

"What we're finding here is government trying to usurp the role of the parent," he charged.

Pfundstein said, "It's a selective nanny state. They want to control certain behaviors and they want to control certain outcomes."

"It is a further endorsement of this philosophy of 'kids know best.' We're going to leave it up to them,'" Dr. Grossman said.

Pfundstein argued the notion that birth control will solve the problem of teen pregnancy is flawed.

"They think as long as they can keep these babies from being born, everything is fine," she said. "We'd much rather see if they could help the kids behave in a more responsible way."

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.