Recently in the news, the subject of the CATCH (Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Healthcare) program was of great debate. The program which gives contraceptives to high school students will be implemented in 13 New York schools that suffer from high teen pregnancy and lack nearby clinics and health services.
While many schools throughout the country offer condoms to its students, the CATCH program will be the first one to offer students contraceptive pills without the need for parental consent or prescriptions.
A teenager being able to obtain Plan B pills without parental consent or a prescription is a huge step forward for teens in our current society.
Legally, only teenagers 17 and older are allowed to purchase Plan B, unless a nurses gives a prescription for it, but since Plan B is only effective within the first 72 hours of intercourse, this can be very problematic for current teenagers who might be too shy to come to their parents with such a daunting request.
However with the CATCH program, it puts sexually active teenagers and sexually active young adults on the same footing. Both groups of individuals are able to take responsibilities for their actions and handle them how they see fit.
Overall, I am in total support of these steps simply because it’s about time America stops acting like we don’t have a problem and address it head on.
In New York alone, 7,000 young women under 18 years old become pregnant which is just unacceptable in this day and age. With numbers like those, it’s easy to see that the old saying “wait until marriage and practice abstinence” isn’t the conclusive solution it was designed to be.
It’s almost to the point where I feel like America would rather hide its issues then realize they have issues in the first place and the CATCH program is a great first step to fixing this issue that America faces.
Even the critics of the CATCH program who say it will just lead to more risky behavior will have to admit that at least some action is being taken to control the situation at hand.
Another reason I am in favor of this new option being offered is because parents have the ability to opt out of the program if they desire. With the opt-out option being available, parents who have a problem with CATCH do not have to be effected by it. If they feel as if this is a solution for a problem they don’t have, then they can easily not partake in it.
Overall I think it’s safe to say that in the grand scheme of things, teenagers are going to do what they want, regardless of what anybody tells them.
It’s just the nature of the beast at that age. The best adults can try to do is steer them in the best direction and if that fails, be there to pick them up when they fall.
Overall this is almost a perfect solution to the problem at hand. This is us picking them up when they fall.