John De Zell
John De Zell
TIGARD — The Tigard-Tualatin School District will not dispense condoms and prescription contraceptives at a Tigard High clinic, an outcome for which church activists fought.

At a March 19 meeting, the School Based Health Center Advisory Committee declined to make a recommendation on the controversial issue. That means no birth control for now, but the question could resurface later.

John De Zell, a former civil rights attorney, said there is no compelling state interest in giving out birth control at high schools, a proposal he called "nefarious."

De Zell, a member of St. Anthony Parish in Tigard, presented evidence to argue that readily available contraceptives can lead to early sexual activity, sexually transmitted disease and emotional hurt. Teenage girls now get exposed to more than 50 STDs and birth control pills can wreak havoc on the hormone systems of the young, he said.

Supporters of birth control countered, saying condoms actually prevent the spread of disease.