Radical Prophylaxis

Students to be offered surgical implants to avoid pregnancies

WITH ONE OF THE HIGHEST TEENAGE PREGNANCY rates in the nation, Baltimore already provides birth-control pills and condoms to its public school students. But health officials have decided that extra measures are needed. Starting in January, school clinics will begin offering Norplant, a surgically implanted contraceptive that lasts for five years.

About 500,000 women nationwide use the device, which consists of six capsules inserted under the skin on a woman's upper arm. Inserting the capsules is a simple medical procedure, and they can later be removed to restore fertility. Despite the new option, however, officials say they will continue to recommend...

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