NYC Schools provide "Morning After" pill

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2007
NYC Schools provide "Morning After" pill
9
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 10:37am

Well, I have to say that this makes me uncomfortable.  These at-risk teens certainly need safe access to contraceptive measures and STI screening/education, and having that be on school campuses is the only thing that really makes sense - but I strongly believe that in these younger patients, extra time is needed for counseling and for followup.  I see the school sent home permission slips at the start of the year to the parents, which helps.  

I suppose that a kids' visits would be tracked and I would hope that any encounter would be followed up well.  I never knew my school nurse.  Maybe these inner city kids have more of a relationship with their school nurse. 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/24/nyregion/resistance-low-to-school-contraceptives-effort-new-york-health-officials-say.html?_r=0

 

What do you think?  Is this school overstepping its bounds?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2007

:smileyhappy:  That's what it sounded like (and I deeply appreciate having folks around who have a good critical eye). 

For general interest of the board, "impact factor" is the quick & dirty way to establish where a journal is on the spectrum from a "throw away" to the industry standard for peer review.  Journals with higher "impact factor" are considered to be more weighty.  Wikipedia explains it pretty well:

"The impact factor, often abbreviated IF, is a measure reflecting the average number of citations to recent articles published in science and social science journals. It is frequently used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field, with journals with higher impact factors deemed to be more important than those with lower ones. The impact factor was devised by Eugene Garfield, the founder of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), now part of Thomson Reuters. Impact factors are calculated yearly for those journals that are indexed in Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports."

So if someone quotes a sciencey sounding journal at you that you've never heard of, google the journal and its impact factor, and the publisher will list it.  For Contraception, the IF is 2.724, which is pretty awesome.  The very highest rated Ob-Gyn journal (the grey journal) has an IF of 3.468.  The fact that Contraception covers only a limited topic will naturally reduce its IF, whereas since the Grey Journal covers the best of everything going on in Ob-Gyn, it has an easier time getting a higher number. 

Journals that are purely opinion, conjecture, or which are not valued by the rest of the peers in that field will not receive an impact factor.   IF is a self-fulfilling prophecy - once a journal has a high number, people prefer to be published in that journal.  So if someone has a great new article about contraceptive measures, they will submit it to the Grey Journal first, and if it is declined they will send it to Contraception.  Therefore, even though Contraception is more specific, an article that makes it into the Grey Journal is probably considered by Ob-Gyns to be more important (better performed, more innovative).  So even if the IF seems a silly measure, since the people writing in the field pay attention to it, we all should.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2012

I wasn't knocking the journal.  Sometimes propaganda is a mixture of half-truths and faulty logic (ussually cut and  pasted many times over as it is here) and sometimes it's just pure make believe.  I was trying to get back to the original source and was giving them credit for at least doing enough research to know that 'Contraception' was a real scientific journal.  I looked at a few of their papers myself though and they reached the conclusion that there wasn't any/much impact.  The article that I quoted was considered a survey of the literature that included over a hundred previous studies.  Since the conclusion doesn't uphold either side's political ideology, it has a certain amount of 'truthiness' for me.  

But... that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2007

I like researching 'research' on politically sensitive issues...

Hey - FWIW, Contraception is considered to be a fairly hardcore journal, it's on the shelves in the resident room on our OB/Gyn service. 

Here's another blog post deconstructing the idea that contraception and abortion rates rise together - http://blog.ansirh.org/2011/06/contraception-and-abortion-rates/ essentially, they do because they often become available together, but once contraception becomes reliable available it is preferred.  Basically, humans are going to have sex.  If there are no modern medications available, they will use local herbs and whatever to induce abortion unsafely.  Once safe abortion or contraception become available they will use those, but in the setting of intermittent access (such as in states in which contraception is priced out of reach) they will continue to have sex.  It's only human.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2007

"So, is the morning after pill only being given to students ages 17 & up or is it available to all minors? Is the morning after pill considered in the same "contraceptive services" group as condoms, birth control pills, etc?"

This is a pilot program being started at 13 schools in "high risk zones".  Parents were sent a permission slip at the beginning of the school year, and thereafter, 4 forms of contraception (Depo Provera, OCP, condoms, and morning after pill) are made available to participating teens from age 13 on up.  Prior, condoms had been freely available. 

It does make me uneasy, but the rates at which these teens were becoming pregnant (7k annually, 90% unintended and half terminated) makes me uneasy.  Taken altogether, I think this kind of program is important.  Do I wish these parents were stepping up?   Of course.  Do I wish these teens had safe, private access to their pediatricians to make these choices with them instead?  Of course.  But neither of those options are working out for these kids.    

Overall, I feel it is a positive change - not ideal, but an improvement.  If these young people hear the rumor they can get contraception from the school nurse, that brings them in and they become a captive population that can be screened for unsafe beheavior, violence, misinformation, etc. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2012

Ah, finally I found it.  Despite his statement that his evidence was 'not in a prolife magazine but in the scientific journal', RAUL NIDOY lifts whole paragraphs of this blog post from a memo distributed by the Missouri chapter of Right to Life.   Here's the link:  http://www.missourilife.org/legislation/2012/memos/sb749.pdf


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2012

I like researching 'research' on politically sensitive issues.  Some of it is totally fabricated.  There really is a journal called 'Contraception' and though I was unable to find the one he referenced (no author or title is given for the article, makes you wonder) I did find some articles on the subject.  Take home message 'The unintended pregnancy rate in the United States is the highest among developed countries.' and those other developed countries include ones with very liberal contraception policies.  But... ' In all but one study, increased access to emergency contraceptive pills was associated with greater use. However, no study found an effect on pregnancy or abortion rates.'  There were similar findings in France after emergency  contraceptives were made OTC.  The focus of current research is figuring out what policies actually do reduce unintended pregnancies.  The quotes are from 'A qualitiative exploration of emergency contraception users' willingness to select the copper IUD' by Rachel L. Wright, et al.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-24-2012
southernbabptistgal wrote:

OMG, this is nuts! I can't believe there has been so little resistance to it! What are these parents thinking?? Numberous studies have shown that contraception use actually raises abortion rates :

http://primacyofreason.blogspot.com/2011/06/contraception-and-abortion-link.html

There's gotta be a petition or something out there I can sign. Providing high school students with morning after pills?!?!? That's insane. 

As with almost everything on the internet, you can find "studies" to support your viewpoint, no matter what side you're on. I can also say that "numberous studies" have shown that access to emergency contraception has NOT increased "risky" sexual behaviors, unintended pregnancies (and therefore abortions), etc...

Avatar for cmlisab
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011

Here's the part I'm confused about:

"Under federal rules, Plan B, a pill that cuts the risk of pregnancy in half if taken soon after sex, is available without a prescription to women 17 and older.

New York is among 21 states and the District of Columbia that allow all minors access to contraceptive services, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group in Washington that supports abortion rights."

So, is the morning after pill only being given to students ages 17 & up or is it available to all minors? Is the morning after pill considered in the same "contraceptive services" group as condoms, birth control pills, etc?

Lisa