Some Good News About Planned Parenthood in the US

Jan Steen – The Doctor Visit. 17th Century Pregnancy Test.

Planned Parenthood has been under attack from the right wing in many areas of the US lately. LA Times has a storey about a Planned Parenthood centre set in a high school with the support of the local high school.

Throughout the school year, students visit the on-campus clinic to get birth control, pregnancy tests, counseling and screening for sexually transmitted diseases. The services, which are free and confidential, are offered through a unique collaboration between Planned Parenthood and the Los Angeles Unified School District designed to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies among teenagers at the Boyle Heights high school.

Although nonprofit groups frequently offer reproductive healthcare on school campuses around the nation, the partnership involving Planned Parenthood — long a target of antiabortion lawmakers in Washington — is the only one of its kind.

According to the article, rates of teenage pregnancy are down to record lows throughout most of California, hitting record lows in 2010. However the low income areas around Roosevelt High School have remained  higher than average.

“All areas of LAUSD are not created equal,” said Christine De Rosa, who works on adolescent health for the HIV and STD division of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “Rates vary according to high school attendance areas.”

Nurse practitioner Sherry Medrano, who runs the Roosevelt health clinic, said teenagers rarely go outside their comfort zone for family planning. By law, students can go to Medrano and her staff without the permission of their parents. “They feel much safer and much more comfortable coming to a school-based health clinic,” she said.

Most people have sex in private and advice on family planning and sexual health needs to be private as well. Some parents are very understanding of teen sexuality, others, not so much. however, the program has received mostly positive feedback from parents in the largely Latino district.

The news has been grim for reproductive rights in general and Planned Parenthood in particular across the US. It good to see something positive.

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