Birth Control and Portland's Moral Fabric

Making contraceptives more readily available to kids prevents unwanted pregnancies. Opponents of abortion should be pleased that women have birth control options that make abortion less likely. Instead, the Republican Party chairman in Portland, Maine echoes the right's familiar response to governmental efforts to broaden access to birth control:

“It is an attack on the moral fabric of our community, and a black eye for our state.”

As if a middle school girl in Portland won't dare to have sex unless the school clinic will fill her birth control prescription.

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    STUDENT VOUCHERS not BIRTH CONTROL!! (1.00 / 1) (#7)
    by opusvax on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 01:26:42 PM EST




    Consistency (none / 0) (#1)
    by jarober on Sat Oct 20, 2007 at 10:16:22 PM EST
    Here's what ticks me off.  I can't send my daughter (High School Freshman) to school with an Advil - if she's found with it in her possession she'll get suspended.  However, the school will hand her contraceptives without consulting her mother or I.

    I'd love to know how those two things make any sense.

    Contraception (none / 0) (#4)
    by bernarda on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 05:02:47 AM EST
    French junior and senior high schools have been distributing condoms and other contraceptive methods for years with no major controversy. It is considered part of public health. Of course they have to be given out by a nurse.

    The French are so much more pragmatic. They tend not to deny reality. There is currently an exhibition in Paris, "Zizi sexuel expo", to explain sex to 9-14's. Imagine that in the U.S.



    Probably this wouldn't be possible even in San Francisco.


    please put your urls (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 01:29:01 PM EST
    in html format using the buttons at the top of the comment box. Otherwise they skew the site requiring deletion of your comment. Thank you.

    The Frencg...again??? (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 06:52:02 PM EST
    Well, when you get whipped every time the German's need a holiday, you get used to people telling you what to do.....

    But having taken the cheap shot at the French, I agree that birth control and sex education should be available, although I doubt either is all that effective..

    Based on the illegitimate birth rate increases, it would appear that the only thing that will actually work is a society with a strong disapproval of out of wedlock pregnancies and a legal system that dogs the fathers until they support their children.

    DNA testing is a wonderful thing in that regard.


    Illegitimate Births (none / 0) (#16)
    by squeaky on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 11:06:04 AM EST
    Is also due to the a decline in people wanting to have the government in their life aka legal Marriage. Not such a popular Institution these days.

    Besides ppj, I would think that you would be all for birth rate increase whether legitimate or illegitimate. Because of your greatest fear of sharia law in the US.

    The west is being out bred and is importing Moslems at a rate that insures the end of western culture.

    Squeaky (none / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 11:37:43 AM EST
    Is also due to the a decline in people wanting to have the government in their life aka legal Marriage. Not such a popular Institution these days.

    I think you are making that one up.

    Let's see some facts.

    And yes. The west is being out bred and is importing Moslems at a rate that insures the end of western culture.


    Google (none / 0) (#22)
    by squeaky on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 02:10:47 PM EST
    Gee links to google (none / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 06:54:51 PM EST
    That convinces me that the answer to

    The question: Why is illegitimate increasing?

    Is also due to the a decline in people wanting to have the government in their life aka legal Marriage. Not such a popular Institution these days.

    Now, one more time. Let's see a link that makes that point.


    Hahahahhaha (none / 0) (#24)
    by squeaky on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 11:56:01 PM EST
    Doesn't seem like your fingers have atrophied yet, so it must be your brain.

    As usual, you have no proof. (none / 0) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Oct 24, 2007 at 04:26:42 PM EST
    So you try and smear.

    It Is Well (none / 0) (#26)
    by squeaky on Wed Oct 24, 2007 at 04:34:42 PM EST
    Known and a documented fact that my links and a google search would easily prove. But no matter, proof has never stopped you from repeating your tired GOP talking points.

    Consistency (none / 0) (#5)
    by jmacWA on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 08:33:48 AM EST
    Seems to me. based on the article, that you have no problem:

    Parents in Portland who want their children to have access to the clinic must sign a waiver each year that details the services it offers. Under state law, reproductive health, mental health and substance abuse issues are confidential between medical provider and patient, regardless of the patient's age.

    Don't sign the waver.


    You would have to sign your daughter up.. (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 08:51:42 AM EST
    to be a part of the school clinic.  If you don't want your daughter to have access to birth control without your knowledge, don't sign her up for the clinic.  The choice is yours.

    I agree with you about the advils....zero-tolerance madness.


    Irony - It doesn't just make clothes flat... (none / 0) (#2)
    by reedsanchez on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 12:00:55 AM EST
    The most ironic thing about the chairman's statement is that the decision was made by the locally elected school board of the district in question.  Government doesn't get any smaller than that.  Thus even if the moral fabric of the community is being attacked, damaged, torn, sullied, or in any other way altered in what the Republican chairman would view as a negative manner, the community itself is doing it.

    I would go so far as to argue that these sorts of decisions are one the best justifications for the "Republican value" of small government.  Allowing school boards - communities - the autonomy to make these decisions enables them to act as microchosms whose trials and tribulations can be observed and acted upon by other communities and the potentially the nation as a whole.

    Whether or not middle-school aged children should be provided with birth control is ultimately up to their parents.  Not only do the parents make up the school board that approved of this regulation, but every child that enlists the school's health services - through which the birth control is distributed - must first have explicit permission by his or her parents.

    If I may digress on a personal note, I think that there is a huge difference between giving middle-schoolers condoms and giving them birth control pills.  The former not only prevents pregnancy AND sexually transmitted diseases, but it does so without altering the hormones of the user.  Birth control pills - on the other hand - can have extremely serious side effects.  More importantly, the decision to alter the physiological state of someone so young is one of enormous consequence.

    Good point.... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 08:54:52 AM EST
    I too have concerns about giving girls who are still developing birth control pills or birth control shots.  I agree condoms are the way to go with the younger teens.  

    The Real Issue Here Has Nothing to Do With Sex... (none / 0) (#3)
    by TLSanders on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 12:15:19 AM EST
    This controversy shouldn't be turned into yet another platform for the debate about whether or not teens (and now pre-teens) should have access to birth control.  The issue at the core of this decision isn't about abstinence versus safe sex--it's about a parent's ability to protect the physical health of a child.  That requires, at a minimum, knowing what medications your child is taking.

    Pregnancy? (none / 0) (#10)
    by opusvax on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 07:06:55 PM EST
    If a girl gets pregnant while on the school's birth control can she sue the school for child support??

    Exactly (none / 0) (#6)
    by jarober on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 09:25:36 AM EST
    Drug interactions, anyone?  

    if portland's moral fabric (none / 0) (#11)
    by cpinva on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 08:46:00 AM EST
    is so weak, this is all it takes to tear it, then i submit they have much bigger problems than this.

    jim, please supply the cite supporting your assertion that illegitimate births are on the rise. the various and sundry reports i've seen show just the opposite. whether this has to do with the availability of contraception & sex education, or just fewer teens, i have no clue.

    i do know that the most recent studies show "abstinence only" programs seem to have little, if any effect on sexual activity among their target audience.

    as a parent, i certainly need to know what medication my child is taking (and BC pills are medication). however, hopefully, their dr. can get that out of them, should they be in need of medical care, even if i don't. i hope.

    here's one (none / 0) (#15)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 10:35:35 AM EST

    Evidently the various and sundry studies you read are based on something other than life on this planet,  because no one with a passing familarity with life around them is unaware in the rise of "non-marital  births."  But that really isn't the issue. The issues are:

      Do we agree that "non-marital births" are bad per se?

      If not, which among them, if any,  are "bad" and should be discouraged/prevented?

      If some should be discouraged/prevented, what methods of attaining that goal strike the proper balance between effectiveness and lack of  intrusion by government into private family matters, recognition of individual autonomy, proper consideration of physical health, and the general welfare of society (this is an inexhaustive list of factors).

     is what are the most effective


    By the numbers. (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 11:52:21 AM EST
    1. Here

    2. But having taken the cheap shot at the French, I agree that birth control and sex education should be available, although I doubt either is all that effective..

    3. I wonder if the program is all or nothing?? Could you agree for medical service but not birth control??

    The problem is societal. If you want to help the problem, banish some Gollywood stars into the nether world for their activities and that would help. NOT fix, mind you.


    Insane (none / 0) (#14)
    by Slado on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 10:31:55 AM EST
    Is what this is.

    11 and 12 year olds getting birth control?  Common sense tells anyone with a brain this is stupid.

    How can anyone justify this?

    Once again the abortion debate is clouding people's judgement.

    I'm ok maybe with some pre high schoold sex ed because lets face it with todays culture a kid has to be deaf dumb or stupid not to know the basics but handing out birth control?

    Why not just have the school sponsored rainbow parties on friday nights in the school gym.

    Why not a school sponsored abstinance campaign.  Talks about sexual diseases and the emmotional toll having sex at 12 is likely to have on someone.

    Why because that would be admitting that basic Christian values are correct.   Instead lets pass out birth control so we don't have to admit that anyone who is having sex has lousy parents.

    No-one who is 11, 12 or even 13 should have any from of sex.   Period.   End of discussion.

    OK, (none / 0) (#19)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 12:15:09 PM EST
     almost all adults would agree that children that young should not have any form of sex.

      The problem is that the children themselves might disagree when it comes to whether they should have sex. I can say for certain that my attitudes toward junior high sex have evolved since I was the ne in junior high.

      There are an uncountable number of things that either no one should do or certain people should not do that are done nonetheless.

      Teen sex is going to happen. No matter what adults do or don't do it is going to happen. Serious efforts to reduce the number of times it happens should be  welcome, even if--gasp-- some of the efforts include concepts such as values and morals supported by people who are religious. Also, though, serious efforts to reduce the consequences of sex when it happens should be welcome. Pregnancy, STDs and emotional problems, etc.  are not solved by saying: "See, I told you so."

       I don't think there is necessarily a conflct between stressing values and morality and providing good reasons not to have sex and having programs inteded to ameliorate the consequences to those who ignore good advice.

      That said, I don't think public schools should be in the  birth control business even with condoms let alone the obviously wrongheaded idea of having public school nurses give drugs to children without express informed consent from the parents.

    8TH GRADE (none / 0) (#20)
    by Peaches on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 12:48:52 PM EST
    I can say for certain that my attitudes toward junior high sex have evolved since I was the ne in junior high.

    That's for sure. I can say for certain mine have. The only thing saving me from impregnating a teen-age girl in the 8th grade was my lack of development, but not for a lack of trying, begging and pleading by my young counterpart after we consumed alcohol out of our parents cabinet at a school dance. We were discovered on the mats in the school wrestling room with her clothes removed and me struggling to keep her hands off my belt-buckle to keep from revealing my pubescent privates. Finally pacifying her by attempting something I'd seen in a magazine involving some acrobats with my tongue. The school officials discovered us in a most precarious and embarrassing position.

    Regardless, in our situation, there would have been no need for condoms, but if I had been given  6 months to a year, I could have found myself in a heap of trouble and I certainly would not of had the wherewithal to have suggested a condom to my insistent partner.


    I wrestled 4 years in HS. (none / 0) (#21)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 01:26:12 PM EST
    After this story, I'm glad we mopped the mats before every practice. ;-)

    Actually, the wrestling room was visited fairly often by us and our girlfriends outside of practise.

    Glory days well they'll pass you by
    Glory days in the wink of a young girl's eye
    Glory days, glory days

    The school should not be handing out condoms and BC pills anymore than it should be handing out flu shots and nicotine patches.