Condoms, birth control pills, the birth control shot, and Plan B: These are all the contraception methods that the Lynn public school committee is considering giving out to students for free at school. The committee members are grappling with their district having the 6th highest teen pregnancy rate in the state, so at the Septemeber 30th subcommittee meeting, officials from the Lynn Community Health Center came to promote “a comprehensive family planning approach” in the middle and high schools. (While Lynn is currently not considering giving out free intrauterine devices (IUDs), other schools in Massachusetts already perform this risky medical procedure in the schools. Nearly 40% of all SBHCs around the country provide these implantable devices. If they’re not discussing it now, know it’s coming next).
Our Community Alliances Director, Michael King, was contacted by a Lynn resident who expressed concern about their kids getting access to contraceptives like these without parental consent. It turned out that many other citizens shared this same concern as over 40 parents and students showed up last night to hear Michael discuss the upcoming school committee vote.
MFI often hosts events for parents concerned about comprehensive sex-ed curriculum (you can find out some of what is being pushed in the schools here), but for this meeting, Mike spoke in detail about what “free contraception” would mean for Lynn schools. Under Massachusetts law, certain conversations between a minor child and a healthcare provider become confidential, meaning even the child’s own parents are often left in the dark. Allowing school-based health centers (SBHCs) to pass out free contraception ensures that parents are completely pushed out; they may never even find out their child was prescribed birth control pills.
Cutting parents out of their children’s healthcare decisions is a recurring them in our state. What’s even more disturbing, however, is that a couple of Lynn school committee members argued that there shouldn’t even be a parent forum to discuss the topic, and they wanted to approve this program without giving parents an opportunity to make their voice heard. One member, Mr. Ford, said that he’s “against having a parent night on this” because “it could get very emotional and heated.” The attack on parental rights and involvement in schools is very real. Fortunately, a few other members advocated for the importance of parental involvement in school committee decisions, and they agreed to having a 30-minute open-mic session for parent input on November 14th. We expect over 100 advocates to attend the meeting along with media coverage. Please pray for Michael and all the concerned parents of Lynn who are trying to make informed, thoughtful decisions to protect their children.
We expect over 100 advocates to attend the meeting along with media coverage. Please pray for Michael and all the concerned parents of Lynn who are trying to make informed, thoughtful decisions to protect their children.