LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Planned Parenthood and the Los Angeles Unified School District have teamed up in an unusual collaboration to reduce the number of unplanned teen pregnancies at Roosevelt High School.
Students can visit the on-campus health clinic to get free birth control, pregnancy tests, counseling and screening for sexually transmitted diseases – the first program of its kind in the country, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Birth rates among teenagers are down throughout California and Los Angeles County, but certain areas within the county, like the heavily Latino and low-income neighborhood around Roosevelt High School, buck that trend.
The school’s health center is separate from the school nurse’s office and also serves as a primary care clinic, according to the Times. However, about half of the visits this school year have been for reproductive health.
Roosevelt High School started offering contraception and counseling in 1997, but in 2006, that support from a local hospital ended and the school could no longer provide free contraceptives.
Nurse practitioner Sherry Medrano reached out to Planned Parenthood, which now provides a medical assistant, contraceptives, pregnancy and STDs testing. The organization bills Family PACT, a public program that provides family planning to low-income and uninsured California residents, the Times reported.
Students are also trained as peer advocates to talk to their classmates about STDs and pregnancy prevention.