Line up for your contraceptives, kiddies. No parental consent required.
Seattle-area schoolchildren as young as sixth-graders can now get taxpayer-funded contraceptive implants without such consent.
The schools are offering long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), including intrauterine devices (IUDs) and hormonal implants, according to information obtained from Washington state officials, CNS News reports.
The contraceptives are made possible by a Washington state Medicaid program called “Take Charge, which is designed to be used to provide free birth control to adults who have an income at or below 260 percent of the federal poverty level, are uninsured, or lack contraception coverage, according to CNS News.
In an email exchange with the Washington State Health Care Authority and CNSNews.com, a Take Charge spokesperson acknowledged that underage students are eligible for a “full array of covered family planning services” at school-based clinics if their parents meet the program’s requirements.
Take Charge added that “a student who does not want their parents to know they are seeking reproductive health services is allowed to apply for Take Charge using their own income, and if they are insured under their parents’ plan, the insurance would not be billed.”
When asked if a sixth grader could get an IUD implanted without parental consent, Take Charge told CNSNews.com: “We encourage all Take Charge providers to offer long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) in their clinics. A young person does not need parental consent to obtain a LARC or any other contraceptive method. … If the young person is not choosing abstinence, she would be able to select a LARC and have it inserted without parental consent.”
As CNS News notes, students in the sixth grade cannot get a soda or candy in the school because of food guidelines, but they can be implanted with a contraceptive without so much as a note going home to their parents.
According to the state’s Medicaid website, Take Charge has facilities in four middle schools and nine high schools in Seattle, while several others operate close to schools, CNS News reports.
We have public health departments, community-based clinics, college and university clinics, pediatric clinics, private physician practices, and family planning clinics, like Planned Parenthood” as providers, Take Charge said in the email exchange. A total of 38 Planned Parenthood clinics participate in the Take Charge program.
Seattle school-based clinics participating in the program include Aki Kurose Middle School, Washington Middle School, Denny Middle School, Madison Middle School, Franklin High School, Nathan Hale High School, Roosevelt High School, West Seattle High School, Garfield High School, Ingraham High School, Rainier Beach High School, South Lake High School, and Chief Sealth International High School.
Because we’re at the school, which is so wonderful, we have access to the students, and they have access to us, pretty much any time,” said Katie Acker, a health educator at two high school clinics run by Neighborcare Health, which participates in the Take Charge program.
We will send them a pass for whatever class is easiest or best to get out of. Of course, there are always students who are like, “I wanna miss IB Math!” We are not gonna pull you out of IB Math — how about ceramics instead?
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