73 East Front St.
                                              Hancock, NY 13783
                                              (607) 637-2330
April 22, 1998                                szy@hancock.net

Richard Dillon, Superintendent                
Hancock Central School District
Hancock, NY 13783

                  RE: Proposed School-Based Clinic

Dear Mr. Dillon: 

This is a follow-up to our 4/22 discussion regarding the ONEONTA 
STAR (4/20/98) article which stated that the state budget 
includes funding for Bassett Hospital to open a school-based 
clinic at Hancock Central School.  Senator Cook's office 
informed me that the amount of funding is $40,000.  Bassett's 
Public Relations Department faxed me some information as well. 

It is my hope that such a clinic will not be established for the 
reasons outlined below.  It is also my hope that it could be 
nixed without it becoming a public issue.  Please inform me by 
May 1st if that is possible or if the matter must be voted on 
publicly by the School Board.  

The major controversy regarding school-based clinics involves 
reproductive health services.  This includes: 

1) Providing contraceptives under confidentiality norms which 
exclude parental knowledge and consent. 

2) Providing pregnancy tests and informing a pregnant teenage 
girl she has a right to abortion (without parental consent in 
New York State). 

3) Providing referrals to an outside agency (such as Planned 
Parenthood) which may provide the contraceptives, abortion 
counseling, and/or the abortion referrals. 

Brian Clowes, Ph.D., in chapter 139-4 of the PRO-LIFE ACTIVIST'S 
ENCYCLOPEDIA, published by American Life League, reveals the 
steps typically taken in establishing a school-based clinic 
(SBC): 

"STEP 4:  If intense opposition surfaces against the birth 
control and abortion referral features of the SBC, install the 
SBC anyway, but without these features.  A simple amendment to 
the charter can be made adding these features when the original 
uproar has died down and people have forgotten about the SBC.  
It is much easier to add birth control and abortion referral  
after the clinic has been established than it is to include 
these features in the original plan." 

"Joy Dryfoos of the Center for Population Options stated in the 
March/April 1985 issue of the Alan Guttmacher Institute's  
Family Planning Perspectives  that clinics 'Can avoid local 
controversy by starting with primary health care and then adding 
family planning services.'" 
(http://www.all.org/plae/plae139.htm) 

S. DuBose Ravenel, M.D., in part IV of "A Pediatrician Looks at 
School Based 'Clinics'" (http://www.all.org/resource/SE99X.htm), 
makes exactly the same point as Dr. Clowes.  I am including a 
downloaded copy of Dr. Ravenel's entire study which details many 
other problems with school-based clinics.  Also included is a 
copy of pages 37 & 38 of James W. Sedlak's book, PARENT POWER, 
which provides a specific example of a school-based clinic. 

Finally, keep in mind the link between Bassett Hospital and 
Planned Parenthood.  When protests a few years ago resulted in 
Delaware Valley Hospital ousting Planned Parenthood from its 
Hancock and Walton facilities, Planned Parenthood moved into the 
Bassett Hospital clinic in Walton and established its own 
facility in Hancock.  Dr. Lavell, whose wife runs the Hancock 
and Walton Planned Parenthood offices, quit Delaware Valley 
Hospital and moved to Bassett Hospital soon after Delaware 
Valley Hospital ousted Planned Parenthood (and thus his wife).  
The link between Bassett Hospital and Planned Parenthood is 
strong and should Bassett establish a school-based clinic in 
Hancock, I think it quite reasonable to predict that this 
relationship will manifest itself in close cooperation between 
the two organizations regarding reproductive health services for 
Hancock teens. 
 
I hope to hear from you before May 1st.  Thank you. 


Sincerely,
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Edward Szymkowiak             

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