Birth Control Lawsuit: School Accused Of Taking Girls To Clinic Without Parent Consent

New York high school girls were allegedly transported from school to a clinic for physicals and went home with birth control pills. The parents of one teen girl, who was allegedly given a prescription with parental consent, have filed a lawsuit against the Peekskill City School District.

Eva and Anthony Jackson maintain that, in 2011, a school counselor arranged and “conspired” to organize trips during school hours to the Hudson River Community Health Clinic. The Peekskill counselor’s wife worked at the nearby health clinic. According to statements from the parents in the lawsuit, their underage daughter was “examined and prescribed birth control pills” before she was transported back to the public school. The lawsuit was filed in the Westchester County Supreme Court.

Anthony and Eva Jackson reportedly informed Peekskill City School District Superintendent James Willis about the visit to the clinic and the birth control examinations and prescriptions. According to the parents, no action was taken, leading them to note in the New York lawsuit that Willis was “affirmatively condoning” the exams without parental consent by doing nothing to address the matter.

Many shocked by the case deem the decisions made at the public school an infringement upon parental rights and help shed light on why a record number of American children are now homeschooled.

In addition to the New York school being named in the lawsuit, counselor James Tosto and his wife, Dawn Tosto, were noted in the legal document as well. Both the counselor and his wife are now retired.

Peekskill City School District officials have refused to comment on the birth control lawsuit. The New York teen girl’s parents feel that the unauthorized school trips to the Hudson River Community Health Clinic violate public health laws and the state constitution.

The New York Public Health Law says that any person over 18, the parent of a child or someone who has married, may give “effective consent for medical, dental, health, and hospital services for himself or herself, and the consent of no other person shall be necessary. During the time of the alleged birth control examination and bill prescription the Jackson girl was a minor.

Jackson attorney Mary Marzolla had this to say about the New York school lawsuit during an interview with the Journal News:

“The rights of the parents do not end when their daughter walks through the schoolhouse door. New York and federal laws provide protection to the Jackson family from those who violate these important Civil Rights.”

A separate New York health facility, Open Door Family Medical Centers, told the Journal News that staffers are prohibited by state law from discussing a minor’s sexual health with parents. Although students who want birth control via the Open Door Family Medical Center currently have to go off campus to do so, the facility will soon be opening an on-site school office at a local high school. Once open, the Open Door Family Medical Center will offer birth control planning services, but parents will have an opt-out option for their children.

How do you feel about minors getting medical care without their parents permission?

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