Can Your School Force You To Take A Pregnancy Test?!

pregnancy test pregnant teenagers

Depending on the result of her pregnancy test, she may get expelled from Delhi Charter School in Louisiana. WTF?! | Source

In a move that reinforces the stigma that pregnant teenagers should be ashamed of themselves, a school in Louisiana is forcing anyone who they think might be pregnant to take a pregnancy test. And it’s not a sex education thing, either–they’ll not only force a student to take a pregnancy test, but they’ll also expel her if it’s positive. If you refuse to take a pregnancy test, you’ll get kicked out for that, too.

What’s worse is that the school in question, Delhi Charter School, in Delhi, Louisiana, is a publicly funded school. That means your parents’ tax dollars (or yours, if you work!) are paying to support discrimination against pregnant teenagers, or even just any girl who stands up for the right to not be forced into a pregnancy test in order to save her chance at an education.

Take a gander at the actual inane policy from the student handbook:

“If an administrator or teacher suspects a student is pregnant, a parent conference will be held. The school reserves the right to require any female student to take a pregnancy test to confirm whether or not the suspected student is in fact pregnant. The school further reserves the right to refer the suspected student to a physician of its choice. If the test indicates that the student is pregnant, the student will not be permitted to attend classes on the campus of Delhi Charter School.

If a student is determined to be pregnant and wishes to continue to attend Delhi Charter School, the student will be required to pursue a course of home study that will be provided by the school  . . .  Any student who is suspected of being pregnant and who refuses to submit to a pregnancy test shall be treated as a pregnant student and will be offered home study opportunities. If home study opportunities are not acceptable, the student will be counseled to seek other educational opportunities.

Thankfully, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is all over this and ready to defend not only pregnant teenagers at the school, but also every girl’s right to refuse to take a pregnancy test. “The pregnancy policy violates the rights of every girl at Delhi Charter School,” the ACLU wrote furiously. “Every girl is at risk of being subject to intrusive medical testing, and possibly forced out of school, for reasons that have nothing to do with her education.” Can we get an amen?

The ACLU also points out that not only are the school’s actions and attitudes toward pregnant teenagers generally effed up, but they may also be unconstitutional–aka illegal. They noted that the pregnancy test policy “violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clauses of the U.S. constitution.” That basically means that the school is engaging in sex discrimination, and Title IX banned that. Further, the pregnancy test policy may also violate the 14th amendment, which guarantees equal protection under the law (so men and women are treated equally!) as well as due process and the right to procreate.

The school’s pregnancy test policy may be an effort for the school to try to discourage teen pregnancy (which is already way down), but essentially slut shaming pregnant teenagers isn’t going to solve the problem. Educating girls and guys on safe sex and birth control is statistically proven to work a lot better than promoting abstinence exclusively. And what’s more, 70 percent of pregnant teenagers and teen moms don’t finish school as it is. If Delhi Charter School had its way, that number would soar up to 100 percent, further increasing not only the education gap, but also the eventual income gap between pregnant teenagers and their peers. As if these girls didn’t have enough to deal with, right?

While we’re stoked that the ACLU is doing their darnedest to take care of the pregnancy test policy, can we please talk about how sexist and effed up this is? First of all, pregnant teenagers don’t result from a bored girl with a turkey baster. It takes two. Why are pregnant teenagers–women and girls–being persecuted, but the presumed fathers of their unborn babies are free to study unscathed? In addition, what if the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest? Isn’t the act punishment enough? When they came up with this pregnancy test policy, these school administrators showed that they are at best extremely ignorant and short sighted, if not outright sadistic.

pregnancy test pregnant teenagers

Pregnant teenagers have enough to worry about besides expulsion. | Source

And let’s be real: Even–perhaps especially–if you’re not pregnant, how humiliating would it be to be forced to take a pregnancy test just because you’re a little bloated from lunch? All of this is absolutely ludicrous.

We’re glad there’s an uproar here, because there needs to be one. Slut shaming and expelling pregnant teenagers for “failing” a pregnancy test won’t make teen pregnancy go away. Education, information, and a stop to discrimination and rampant sexism within policies and politics, however, may well do the trick.

Do you think the pregnancy test policy is a good one? Do you think the pregnancy test policy discriminates against pregnant teenagers? Do you think being forced to take a pregnancy test isn’t a big deal? Do you think pregnant teenagers influence their peers? Do you think the pregnancy test policy will deter teen pregnancy? Tell us in the comments!

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  • raspberry_fizz

    What really bothers me is that the school would force a pregnant girl to go to a doctor of their choosing. WTF is that!? So she can’t have an education, has been discriminated against and now can’t even choose her own physician?! That school is seriously messed up

  • Learis

    That is SOOOOO un fair!!!! I think a girl should be able to choose whether she has sex and has a kid or not!!!!!

  • Emily

    they made me do that because they thought i was pregos…… I was just fat i went home and cried my eyes out that day

    • raspberry_fizz

      Oh sweetie I’m so sorry! That’s awful, no one should have to go through that x

  • bigla boo

    that is so dumb if they did that to me i dont really care because im not pregnaut but if i was i would say i had a right to not do that

  • Kinslay

    And how are they making these accusations? They are gonna tell the girl she looks fat? They see her eating a pineapple pizza they are gonna assume she has cravings? That is stupid and insulting. Besides if they are going to try to discourage sex why not get the guy in trouble too! He won’t stop doing it because he knows nothing can happen to him.

  • Meredith

    Every school should be able to do this. This country needs to rid itself of these disgusting skanks. It makes perfect sense.

    • Katie

      Your ignorant! Just because a teenager gets pregnant doesn’t make them a skank? That’s just like saying my moms such a skank she got pregnant even though she didn’t plan for it to happen. God people kill me!!!

    • Falcon89

      If they really wanted less pregnancies, they should offer comprehensive sex ed

  • Lexi

    I’m disgusted. High schools should encourage pregnant students to do well and graduate so that they can make better lives for themselves and their children. It is almost impossible to support a family without a high school diploma, and this school is making being a teen mother even more difficult. I’m also concerned that only the girls are being discriminated against. What about the boys that got these girls pregnant? It’s sexist and unfair.

  • bayleaboo

    Oh, and also they could be stressing the girl out, then she could loose her baby if she was pregnant.

  • bayleaboo

    Honestly,thats sooo retarded. Its an invasion of privacy andi dont careif i get kicked out because its my buisness and my being pregnant (if i was) is Not gonna effect them, what so ever. And i thinkit should stop. Its wrongand, should be illegal.

  • Emily

    That’s really bad. What if the girl has problems at home that are causing her to gain some weight? Or what if she just gains some weight? I think that is incredibly wrong and an invasion of privacy. Not only if the girl is not pregnant will she become worried about her body image but the school suggesting that she is pregnant could make her do something that willl make her ill.

    They haven’t really thought about the consequences of this, giving students home-schooling if they are pregnant; well girls are going to see this a reward, so I think teenage pregnancy rates will increase. Although I only speak for myself and people I know.

    And yeah, it’s incredibly sexist that the (suspected) fathers aren’t expelled or whatever they choose to do at this school!

  • fatimarox1

    I don’t know what to say. That’s absolutely insane and scary.

  • Kayla

    Ridiculous. Honesty, I say no because that gets way too personal. Teachers can recommend safe-sex as most public schools do but forcing a teenage girl to take a pregnancy test is horrible and embarrassing. This is truly sexism because what are they going to do with the guys who got the girls pregnant, expel them? No. Because you can’t prove they got the girl pregnant so they get off scot-free and are still able to have an education where as the teenage girl gets publicly embarrassed in front of her peers and is kicked out of going to school. This really angers me. These girls should ban together and fight back this stupid policy. People get pregnant, yes teenage pregnancy is unfortunate enough as it is but why go to such extremes and invade a teenage girls privacy? Seriously, I bet these teachers wouldn’t appreciate if they were pregnant and forced to lose their jobs!

  • thegurl13

    i’m 13 and if i was subjected to this ridculous, i would first refuse and after explusion i’d get a class action lawsuit. i’m not rich but i have morality and would do anything for the rights of myself and others.