The Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Healthcare (CATCH) program began last year with the goal of reducing unplanned teen pregnancy. Through the program, schools offer Plan B pregnancy testing and birth control pills. Students must see a nurse or Health Department doctor to obtain either Plan B or birth control pills.
The schools that participate in the program are in areas with high teen pregnancy rates and minimal resources for teens to get contraception. It is still unsure whether the program will expand to more than 13 schools. Last school year, out of the 12,000 female students at the schools, 567 received Plan B and 580 obtained birth control pills.
Many people are supportive of the program, saying that it gives students greater access to contraception and educates them about reproductive health. Others are criticizing it, however, arguing that it teaches teens that unprotected sex is okay.
I’m very intrigued by this story, and I can understand both sides. I think the birth control part is a great idea, but I’m not so sure about the Plan B part. On one hand, I feel that the program tells teenage girls that they don’t have to take responsibility for their actions because they can just get free Plan B. On the other hand, I recognize that the program is helping to stop unwanted teenage pregnancies. I’m conflicted, lovelies.
Do you think it’s a good idea for schools to offer emergency contraceptive pills to their students? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!