The Oregonian (Portland) (02.04.12) - Wednesday, February 08,
Among respondents to an online survey, support has dropped for
a proposal to offer contraceptives at Tigard High School's
School-Based Health Center. The Tigard-Tualatin School
District announced the proposal last month.
On Jan. 18, the district posted an online survey about the
issue. Among the first 88 respondents, 78 percent favored the
idea. As of early February, however, only one-third of roughly
400 respondents supported it. At one listening session, most
of the 22 attendees opposed the idea; at a second session,
opinions were split.
The self-funded School-Based Health Center opened in 2008 and
sees hundreds of students each year. It already offers
pregnancy testing and STD treatment.
In a 2007-08 survey, 74 percent of local 11th-graders and 50
percent of eighth-graders reported being "currently sexually
active," according to the Washington County Department of
Health and Human Services. The county has one of the highest
chlamydia rates in the state, according to 2000-10 data, and
teen cases have steadily increased since 2002. In 2007-09, the
cities of Tigard and Tualatin reported 274 teen pregnancies.
Opponents are concerned about sending mixed messages by making
birth control available, noting contraceptive methods are not
foolproof at preventing pregnancy or STDs. Parents also worry
their rights would be usurped by the state law that permits
anyone older than 15 to seek medical treatment without
parental consent. Supporters consider the proposal a lifeline
to poor students and those without a strong family structure.
The district's health center advisory committee could present
recommendations to the board as early as March.
To view the survey, which remains open through Feb. 10, visit: