Maine School Board Mulls Limited Contraceptive Access

A local school board will consider limiting student access to birth control pills and patches at a middle school's health center

Earlier this month, the Portland School Committee approved a plan that made King Middle School the first middle school in Maine to offer a full range of contraception to students in grades 6 through 8, according to the state officials.

On Monday, committee member Benjamin Meiklejohn submitted a proposal that would give parents the option of blocking access to prescription contraceptives if they enroll their children in the health center. It also would limit contraceptives to students who are at least 14 years old.

The committee will consider the resolution on Nov. 7.

As it stands, students treated at the centers must first get written parental permission, but under state law such treatment is confidential. Students decide for themselves whether to tell their parents about the services they receive.

The health center offers a variety of medical services, including treating acne, sore throats and muscle strains, and giving immunizations and psychiatric evaluations.