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Pregnancy resources at WHS

Julie Dannevig and Corinne Flaherty

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Unplanned pregnancy is a fear for most sexually active teens. It’s vital for students to be aware of the options that are available to them if they find themselves struggling with the stress that comes with an unexpected pregnancy.

Although Planned Parenthood is known as a reliable and inexpensive place for girls to go for trustworthy healthcare, it is uncommon for WHS students to think of the clinic as an option, with some even unaware of what it is.

One of the greatest difficulties that comes with an unplanned pregnancy is the stress of sharing the news. One WHS junior explained she would tell her best friend first and when ready, tell her mom. On the other hand, a different junior said that her mom would be the first person she would tell. “I feel like if I told anyone in this school, it would be everywhere,” she said.

Although many students we spoke to felt comfortable going to their parents for support, this is not the case for all students. WHS offers a number of options for those who are looking for other sources of guidance.

Many students are unaware of the resources provided by the nurse’s office. WHS Nurse Carole Stavitski reiterated that making the choice to be sexually active requires an understanding of the consequences and a certain level of maturity. But, if any student came to her with the concern of being pregnant, she is there to help without judgement. Stavitski emphasized that she is there to begin the conversation of how to plan for the future and recommends that students tell a trusted adult, but in no way forces that.

Stavitski explained that she wants to help all students, and will volunteer to call a parent or trusted adult to ease the student’s anxiety and ensure that she is not alone.

WHS Health Teacher Susan Kolesar follows the same line of thinking. “While in the majority of cases I think they should not keep it from [their parents], I ultimately have to honor [their decision],” said Kolesar. “I don’t force them to tell, but I do try to encourage that choice or at least telling another trusted adult they are close to who can provide the necessary support and look after their well-being.”

There are a number of resources for students at WHS who are dealing with pregnancy, some including the guidance department and the nurse’s office. There is great deal of stress and responsibility that comes with an unplanned pregnancy, so it’s important for WHS students to know that there are options, and support is never far away.

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