The health center at New London High School already diagnoses and treats sexually transmitted diseases and provides pregnancy tests. Soon, it will also be handing out birth control.
Beginning on March 1, the clinic Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut runs in the high school will begin offering condoms and birth control prescriptions, the Day of New London reports.
Supt. Nicholas Fischer told the Day that providing contraceptives in the school would help address the high rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease among New London teens.
"Our plan is to go ahead with this unless we face substantial opposition from the board," Fischer told the newspaper.
Sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy were identified as major reproductive health issues in New London and the Ledge Light Health District released a report in 2010 saying chlamydia infection rates in New London were higher than U.S. rates. They also found rates of gonorrhea to be high.
The study found that rates were declining, but “failure to sustain or improve STD and teen pregnancy prevention efforts that are currently in place in New London may result in rebounding rates.”
The Day reports that the school asked the Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut to begin offering condoms and birth control prescriptions.
Parents must give permission for their children to use the clinic within the school.
"This is an important step forward," Morse told the Day. "If we can help students take care of their health issues, without them having to go to Planned Parenthood or somewhere else, it'll be a lot easier for them to take care of their academic issues."
The issue will be discussed during the board of education meeting on Thursday, the Day reports.
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