An Oregon school district has voted not to provide contraceptives in a high school health clinic. To be more precise, the four men of the Hillsboro School District Board voted not to provide contraceptives, while the three women on the board voted in favor. Yep, that checks out, doesn’t it?
The Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center wanted to offer birth control services on the Century High School campus. Century is currently able to refer students to other health clinics for birth control, but the argument was that it made far more sense to provide those consultations and prescriptions in-house. Oregon law allows people to begin making their own primary care medical decisions without parental notification at 15.
It all seems pretty simple, but per the Oregonian, what ensued at the school district’s latest meeting was an “emotional” discussion about whether teenagers need ready access to reversible, long-acting contraceptives. (They do, and it works.)
When the proposal was met with resistance, Virginia Garcia officials offered a compromise of sorts, suggesting they could only provide oral contraceptives but not Depo-Provera, IUDs, or arm implants (presumably under the assumption that the pill feels more familiar and less scary to skittish school board members). That, too, failed: the board voted 4-3 to deny contraceptives altogether, with chair Wayne Clift, vice chair Glenn Miller, and other men Monte Akers and Erik Seligman voting against the proposal.
No one was more openly frustrated than Lacey Beaty, the school-based health center manager for Virginia Garcia Health Center, who told the Oregonian the split vote “shows women understand the value of family planning. Women are in a unique position to understand women’s needs.”
As it stands, the local Planned Parenthood affiliate will be one of the only options for these students to get birth control, albeit a less convenient one. When you’re struggling to get access to birth control, high school students at Century, you know who to thank: these guys.
Screenshot via YouTube/Hillsboro School District. Big Time Small-Time Dicks logo by staff male Bobby Finger