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Number of School Health Clinics Rises Despite Controversies

October 26, 1998|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The number of schools with health clinics continues to grow, nearly doubling in the last four years, as many districts resolve or dodge controversies over dispensing birth control.

This year, there are 1,154 school health centers, up from 900 in 1996. In 1994, there were 607, according to a survey by Making the Grade, a national program that aids clinics.

Most of the centers (63%) are in urban areas, although the number in rural areas appears to be growing, the report found. Much of the increase in the last two years has been outside New England and the Middle Atlantic States, home to most of the clinics.

There were 58.7% more clinics in the Midwest, for instance, though relatively few there overall compared with the East Coast. New York is home to nearly 14% of the nation's clinics.

A recent survey by an advocacy group found that three of four such centers do not provide contraceptives.

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