A Washington public school is under fire after it began offering intrauterine contraceptive devices to students as young as 11 years old. This initiative does not require the parents' permission to place the device.
Chief Sealth High School in Seattle, Washington, began implementing a statewide policy that allows public schools to give birth control to girls from sixth grade. The high school is one of 13 schools in the area that have taken on the policy, reports Daily Mail.
Washington state law says that any minors at the middle and high schools are allowed to obtain birth control without their parents' consent. The birth control includes IUDs, which are inserted into the uterus.
Conservative news and opinion website Breitbart points out that IUDs have been associated with uterine perforation and infections.
The initiative is known as Take Charge and was put in place with the intent to encourage girls and young women without health insurance to get access to a “full array of covered family planning services.”
According to a representative, “a student who does not want their parents to know they are seeking insured under their parents’ plan, the insurance would not be billed.”
The representative also said, “We encourage all ‘Take Charge’ providers to offer long-acting reversible contraceptives in their clinics. A young person does not need parental consent to obtain a LARC or any other contraceptive method.”
According to Seattle school health educator Katie Acker, the Take Charge initiative has had a positive impact on area schools. She says the students are now able to be more proactive about their sexual health and contraception.
“Because we’re at the school, which is so wonderful, we have access to the students and they have access to us, pretty much any time,” she said.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, LARCs as well as IUDs are the most effective ways to prevent teen pregnancies.
Photo Credit: Chief Sealth High School via Daily Mail