Pregnancy and STD Testing in Port Chester’s Schools

C is (still) for cookie, not contraception.

Hey, Westchester, don’t buy into the hysteria that some are trying to stir up. While one media outlet (care to guess which?) is in the process of hoping, we suspect, to foment faux outrage over the Port Chester School District’s decision to allow Open Door Family Medical Centers, a nonprofit agency which runs health clinics in the district’s elementary, middle, and high schools, to begin offering pregnancy and STD testing in its schools, we know better. Contrary to the ballyhoo, young children in Port Chester’s elementary schools won’t be checked out for herpes—nor will second graders get screened for syphilis or kindergartners be singing Sesame Street songs about the letters “S,” T,” and “D.” To the contrary, such tests will only be conducted in the middle and high school clinics, and even then only when medically indicated.

We spoke with Desta Lakew, Open Door’s Director of Development, who explains that the original impetus to add those services simply grew out of the need to safely administer basic medical services to the students (the clinics provide healthcare to uninsured and poor students). “In order to provide immunizations, which carry live viruses, we have to conduct pregnancy testing on anyone who’s been sexually active, because if they’re pregnant and we give them an immunization, it could harm the fetus.” Additionally, any student who identify themselves as sexually active will be tested for pregnancy or STDs upon request. However, state law mandates parental notification for children 14 and under.

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See the fuzzy blog about it here.

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