A Mighty Appetite The Debate:
Email Americans decisively favor letting their public schools provide birth control to students, but they also voice misgivings that divide them along generational, income and racial lines, a poll showed. Sixty-seven percent support giving contraceptives to students, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll.
About as many - 62 percent - said they believe providing birth control reduces the number of teenage pregnancies. People are also closely divided over whether sex education and birth control are more effective than stressing morality and abstinence, and whether giving contraceptives to teenagers encourages them to have sexual intercourse.
The survey was conducted in late October after a school board in Portland, Maine, voted to let a middle school health center provide students with full contraceptive services. Portland school officials plan to consider a proposal soon that would let parents forbid their children from receiving prescription contraceptives like birth control pills.
Teenage pregnancy rates have declined to about 75 per 1, down from a peak ofaccording to the Guttmacher Institute, a research center. Still, nearly half of teens aged 15 to 19 report having had sex at least once, and almostof them a year become pregnant.
The 67 percent in the AP poll who favor providing birth control to students include 37 percent who would limit it to those whose parents have consented, and 30 percent to all who ask.
Minorities, older and lower-earning people were likeliest to prefer requiring parental consent, while those favoring no restriction tended to be younger and from cities or suburbs.
People who wanted schools to provide no birth control at all were likelier to be white and higher-income earners. About one in four of those provide condoms, other contraceptives, prescriptions or referrals, Mohan said.
Less than 1 percent of middle schools and nearly 5 percent of high schools make condoms available for students, said Nancy Brener, a health scientist with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Underlining the schisms over the issue, those saying sex education and birth control were better for reducing teen pregnancies outnumber people preferring morality and abstinence by a slim 51 percent to 46 percent.
Younger people were likelier to consider sex education and birth control the better way to limit teenage pregnancies, as were 64 percent of minorities and 47 percent of whites.
Nearly seven in 10 white evangelicals opted for abstinence, along with about half of Catholics and Protestants.
In addition, 49 percent say providing teens with birth control would not encourage sexual intercourse and a virtually identical 46 percent said it would. The poll involved telephone interviews with 1, adults from Oct.
It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.Contraceptives are not a good idea to distribute in a Catholic school because its going against religion, the school can be made responsible if an accident happens and it's not the school's responsibility to distribute those tools because they do not want sex going on in or around the school.
Two weeks ago, a school-based health center that serves King Middle School in Portland, Maine, was approved to dispense prescription contraceptives to students who use the clinic. About 30 percent of school-based health centers-- most of them serving high schoolers -- have been okayed to write.
Portland school officials plan to consider a proposal soon that would let parents forbid their children from receiving prescription contraceptives like birth control pills.
Teenage pregnancy rates have declined to about 75 per 1,, down from a peak of , according to the Guttmacher Institute, a . Trends in teenagers' contraceptive use have received less attention than trends in adolescent sexual intercourse, despite the importance of contraceptive use to preventing teenage pregnancy.
Between and , contraceptive use improved among sexually active U.S. high school students.
The controversial debate regarding the distribution of contraceptives, primarily condoms, in Jamaica's secondary schools continues to rage on, with teachers sharing mixed views on the topic. A limited number of school-based health centers dispense birth control, such as condoms, oral contraceptives, patches, and emergency contraceptives, to students.
Despite the relationship between dispensing birth control in the public schools and lowered teen pregnancy rates, significant religious, legal, and moral opposition remains against this practice.