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Letter: Sex, Parents and Plan B (New York Times)

To the Editor:

Re “Ready Access to Plan B Pills in City Schools” (front page, July 12):

New York City’s program providing teenagers in city schools access to Plan B One-Step contraception is a vital resource to students who may have no other way to obtain desperately needed health care. Parents should be made aware of the program, and the schools work through multiple avenues to inform them of it.

Ideally, parents would be involved in all health matters affecting their children. The unfortunate reality is that both parents and their teenage children are often reluctant to discuss sexuality and reproductive health. Denying teenagers access to much-needed support and services unless they are willing to get parental consent will often create an insurmountable barrier to care, presenting a real threat to their well-being. In some cases, it can lead to family violence.

This is why New York law permits teenagers who understand the risks and benefits of the available options to provide informed consent to confidential reproductive health care.

Donna Lieberman
Executive Director
New York Civil Liberties Union
New York, July 15, 2013

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