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Mahony and School Clinics

November 17, 1986

Archbishop Mahony is concerned about health clinics on high school campuses. Most of us are more concerned about teen pregnancies, disease, school dropouts, child abuse and young people going on welfare--often for the rest of their lives.

Schools already have nurses' offices, in many of which students can already get answers to their questions about sex and birth control. The teen-age years are a bridge--from the protection of childhood to the independence and responsibility of adulthood. Clinics on campus will be centers for teaching young people the responsibilities of maintaining their own health. We, as parents, must encourage this transfer of responsibility and help our young people realize there are places where they can ask questions about their most intimate health problems and get medically sound, non-judgmental answers.

The medical reasons for teen-age abstinence are numerous--but they must be taught. Our teen-agers can learn--but some of them will still be unable to "say no." If they think they need contraceptives, let's trust them--and God bless them for realizing it.

MARGOT VISHER

Malibu

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