I suspect it is not the collective judgment of the community of New London that it is in the best interests of our students for the health clinic in our one and only high cchool to enable access to contraceptive drugs and devices.
The clinic should provide these adolescents with answers to questions regarding their reproductive systems and the facts that the surest and safest method to prevent an unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease is to abstain from intercourse and that contraceptive drugs and devices have real failure rates.
They should be informed that these are complex, powerful drugs with known and undesirable actions and possibly unknown effects on their developing organs - unknown because most clinical safety studies were performed in adults, the population for which they were intended.
Furthermore, they should know that the citizens of Connecticut and of the various states of our country have established statutory rape laws to protect adolescents from sexual predators and to prevent unwanted adolescent pregnancy and STD. These laws apply to intercourse regardless of whether or not it is consensual and regardless of parental consent. In fact, parents consenting to such adolescent activity could be prosecuted for child abuse and/or impairing a child's morals, depending on circumstances.
The bottom line is that hundreds of millions of U.S. citizens, out of consideration for the future good health and happiness of our children and future generations, have and do continue to uphold these laws. We must impress upon these children that this is a most serious issue and that we who love them dearly want what is best for their future good health and happiness.
We should not, therefore, enable activity that is not in their best interests.
Peter Moore has a doctorate in pharmacology and spent 36 years at Pfizer working on research and project development.