Description: Christopher Lydon reports on a controversy over the distribution of contraception in schools. Lydon notes that the Adolescent Issues Task Force of the Boston School Department has recommended that birth control be distributed to students as part of a comprehensive adolescent health program in the city's middle schools and high schools. Lydon's report includes footage of an NAACP press conference with Jack E. Robinson (President, Boston chapter of the NAACP), Joseph Casper (member, Boston School Committee), and Grace Romero (NAACP board member). Robinson and Casper condemn the proposal as racist. Robinson says that the initiative targets African American students. Lydon's report includes footage from interviews with Hubie Jones (member, Adolescent Issues Task Force), Dr. Howard Spivak (member Adolescent Issues Task Force) and Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith (Chairwoman, Adolescent Issues Task Force). Jones, Spivak and Prothrow-Stith defend the proposal. Spivak and Prothrow-Stith discuss statistics relating to teen pregnancy. Lydon's report also features interviews with students about teen pregnancy and footage of students in schools.
1:00:11: Visual: Footage of an African American woman saying that she knows "what is going on" with teenagers from listening to them talk. Christopher Lydon reports that teenagers are starting to have sex at an early age. V: Footage of Dr. Howard Spivak (member, Adolescent Issues Task Force) saying that he is alarmed at the numbers of teenagers who are having sex. Spivack says that 25% of teenage girls are sexually active before the age of 15. Footage of Dr. Deborah Prothow-Stith (Chairwoman, Adolescent Issues Task Force) saying that one million girls under the age of nineteen become pregnant each year; that 600,000 of those girls give birth. Prothow-Stith says that teenage pregnancy has become an epidemic. Footage of Spivak quoting a statistic which predicts that 40% of fourteen-year olds will become pregnant before their twentieth birthday. Shot of teenage girls descending a staircase at a school. Lydon reports that the Boston School Department's Adolescent Issues Task Force is recommending the distribution of birth control as part of a comprehensive adolescent health program at Boston's middle schools and high schools. V: Shot of a collection of diaphragms in a health clinic. Shot of a clinic worker and a teenage girl at a school health clinic. Lydon reports that the proposal has been heavily criticized. V: Shot of the street outside of the Boston NAACP office. Footage of Jack E. Robinson (President, Boston chapter of the NAACP) at a press conference. Robinson says that the NAACP is opposed to the distribution of birth control in school health clinics. Joseph Casper (member, Boston School Committee) and Grace Romero (former member, Boston School Committee and NAACP board member) stand beside Robinson at the press conference. Lydon points out that Casper and Romero are unlikely allies for Robinson. V: Footage of Robinson saying that the plan introduces sexual devices into the schools under the guise of a health initiative. Robinson says that African American schools and school districts are the targets of these plans; that the plans are a form of "social engineering." Lydon notes that Robinson believes the proposal to be "insidiously racist." V: Footage of Hubie Jones (member, Adolescent Issues Task Force) saying that the proposal has nothing to do with race. Footage of Casper saying that the proposal targets inner city students; that there are no proposals to distribute birth control among white suburban students. Casper says that "something is afoot." Footage of Jones saying that it is genocidal to allow large numbers of African American teenage girls to become pregnant. Lydon reports that Jones sees the proposal as a "regrettable necessity," needed to combat the incidence of pregnancy in young girls. V: Shots of teenage students in a study hall. Footage of Prothow-Stith saying that the Task Force is concerned about the increase of pregnancies among girls aged ten to fourteen. Footage of a young African American male student saying that a lot of teenage girls are pregnant; of a young Hispanic male student saying that he knows a girl in ninth-grade with a child. Footage of another African American male student saying that he knows a thirteen-year old girl who became pregnant; that the girl has dropped out of school. Footage of a white female student saying that she knows eighth grade girls who are pregnant; that it is wrong for young girls to be pregnant. Shots of students outside of a school. Lydon says that everyone seems to agree that young girls should not be pregnant.
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 09/08/1986
Description: Interview with two Women's Health Center representatives explaining choices and implications of using birth control. Discussion of birth control experimentation on women without consent, women's health movement, and contraceptive options. Followed by b-roll of Giger and interviewees discussing past fertility medicine and Western perception of pregnancy. Discussion of legislation around midwives. Interviewees talking about sterilization, cesarean sections, induced labor. Visuals of contraceptives— diaphragm, IUDs, foam, package of birth control pills. Giger and interviewees discuss women's health in background. Clip of books "Our Bodies, Ourselves" and "Contraceptive Technology 1976-1977." Poster "Freedom for Women" on wall.
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 05/20/1977