Give My Kid Plan B Behind My Back? Yes, Please!

plan b
Family, Sex

Thirteen New York City high schools are making Plan B available to students without parental notification. The only thing that upsets me about this news is that it doesn't apply to my middle schooler.

Katie McDonough at Salon.com calls this a turning point for sex ed in America, and the New York Post reports that only 1-2 percent of parents have opted out of the program. But we tend to be avant garde about these things in the NYC, and I'm sure parents across the nation are cringing at the thought of 14-year-olds having sex.

Heck, I'm cringing about it right now.

I'm not saying it's pretty. Or that they're even enjoying it. (Let's all take a moment to shudder at the memory of our own ill-considered youthful adventures.) But 14- and 15-year-olds had sex without telling their parents back in the '80s when I was a teen, so it's only dangerous optimism that makes us Generation Xers think our kids are immune to hormone-driven shenanigans. Lesson Of The Day: Don't Use Plan B As Your Only Birth Control

It's probably easier for me to remember this than for other parents since I never knew my daughter as an innocent toddler. We're adopting a 13-year-old from the foster system, and by the time we met, the puberty fairy had already come to visit. It wasn't long before a social worker suggested that we get her on birth control sooner rather than later. You miss a lot of cuteness and milestones when you adopt an older child, but you also get to skip the delusion that your kid will make the choices you want them to make.

More juicy content from YourTango:

Neuroscientists tell us that a person's judgment doesn't develop fully until the age of 25. But I don't need a research project to tell me that—I only need to remember what my friends and I got up to in our teens and early twenties. Or late twenties, come to think about it. It only makes sense that we, as a society, help clueless idiots like we were protect themselves from the consequences of their actions. 10 Percent Of Women Have Used The Morning-After Pill

And it is society's and the school's job. Parents should teach values and morality, but not necessarily the technical details. I'm still recovering from the HIV-prevention conversation my parents tried to have with me after I left for college. Almost 25 years later, I can still picture them frantically spouting medical information at me, practically weeping with relief when I told them about the flyers on the subject the housing department had slid under our dorm room doors, sparing them the need to contunue.

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For now, if my daughter asks me for Plan B, I'll just walk her over to the doctor's office to get her a prescription. No judgment, hysteria or lectures. But she doesn't know that. No kid can know that for sure, no matter how much their mom assures them that's how it would go down. So I can't rely on my kid asking me for emergency contraception if she needs it. I'm hoping that by the time she starts high school, all the schools in NYC will offer Plan B. Until then, I guess the best I can do for her is talk to her pediatrician about figuring out another way she can get it behind my back.