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Louisiana School Stops Forced Pregnancy Tests

Louisiana School Stops Forced Pregnancy Tests

Almost as soon as news broke that a charter school in Louisiana was forcing female students to take pregnancy tests and then kicking those students out who either refused the test or tested positive the school has backtracked and will discontinue the policy.

The Delhi Charter School dropped the practice after the ACLU sent the school a demand letter notifying them that they were in violation of federal law and student’s constitutional rights and in the face of widespread public pressure from communities like Care2.com. School President insisted the policy was in place to “protect” pregnant students from harassment. The ACLU, not surprisingly, disagreed.

“If students at Delhi are being harassed, the school’s responsibility is to protect them while ensuring their education. The problem lies with the harasser, not the victim, and it’s wrong for schools to kick students out for reasons that have nothing to do with their education” said Executive Director Majorie Esman.

Like other efforts to “protect” women and girls, the school’s policy did just the opposite. It singled them out and sent the message that the shame associated with teenage pregnancy is to be carried by young women alone. The fact that the school changed its policy so quickly speaks to just how wrong and illegal the policy was to start.

Lawmakers and school officials in Louisiana could better use their time and resources educating students on birth control and biology and making sure support programs exist should a young woman find herself with an unintended pregnancy.

Related Stories:

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Photo from Josh Parrish via flickr.

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45 comments

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4:53AM PDT on Apr 22, 2013

Good! They shouldn't force their students to do anything, let alone take a forced pregnancy test.

8:27PM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

Good. That was so wrong.

1:30PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Louisiana officials, another inbreeding experiment gone wrong!

3:22PM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

With John M. "nothing else is required"! You are a gem, johnnie boy.

5:56AM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

So glad to see they didn't dig their heels in on this preposterous abuse of privacy!

And, it's always great to see that my little "petition click" has results...

Best of luck girls of Louisianna, and keep studying! Those high school boyfriends should become the people you forget, not the dead-beat dad whose wages you have to garnish.

3:01AM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

Good.

8:15AM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

This is the same kind of religious philosophy that requires authorities in Florida to try to force a ten year old incest victim to have her rapist's baby.

2:36AM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

Thanks.

1:55AM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

Interesting article.

10:04PM PDT on Aug 11, 2012

There is now scientific evidence for why abstinence-only education doesn't work. We think of teenagers and young adults, with the same mental capacity as an adult. This is a mistake.

Research using functional MRI techniques show that there is a portion of the brain in the prefrontal cortex, the foremost portion of the brain, that actually doesn't come fully on-line until somewhere between 20-25. This portion of the brain just happens to be where things like impulse control and long-term planning are located. This is why teens tend to not think through their actions. (Of course, there is variability - there are teens who exhibit great control but they are the exception and not the rule.)

So, you have someone who is experiencing a huge surge in hormones, giving them a strong sex drive, but the part of their brain that would tell them to stop and think about the long-term consequences isn't completely functional yet. And all we tell them is "don't have sex until you're married".

It's no wonder states with abstinence-only education have the highest teen pregnancy rates. Then again, why should anybody let facts get in the way of their ideology, right?

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