The Los Angeles Unified School District and controversial abortion and contraception provider Planned Parenthood are teaming up for a special program at Roosevelt High School.
Single motherhood rates among teens are down in Los Angeles County for the last several years; for teenagers 15-19, there were 29 births per thousand, vs. 37 per thousand in 2005. But at Roosevelt High School, located in a low-income, heavily Latino area, single motherhood is still out of control.
So the school will now host Planned Parenthood on campus. Students do not need parental permission to receive either an abortion or contraceptive care in California. Planned Parenthood provides free contraceptive care, including a patch, a ring, pills, or a shot. “We don’t really experience the traditional narrative of angry parents not wanting access to reproductive care in the schools,” explained Planned Parenthood’s LA executive director, Sue Dunlap. “It’s really the opposite.”
Particularly before the prom, students who are trained by Planned Parenthood explain to other students why they should use birth control. Girls as young as 13, 14, and 15 are regularly visiting the Planned Parenthood offices at the school.
Despite an initial dropoff in teen pregnancy at the school, single motherhood has risen again. In 2009, there were reportedly three pregnancies. In 2010, there were been 10.
It is unclear whether Planned Parenthood offers abortion services at the school, or refers students to other Planned Parenthood clinics for such procedures.