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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
OREGON: School-Based Birth Control
Sally Ho
February 8, 2012
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: http://lyris.danyaitss.com/t/2478709/3074008/195/26/

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