Mandatory pregnancy testing in schools may violate women’s rights — professor
Mandatory pregnancy testing in schools may be in conflict with several laws on women’s rights, although it is a standard operating procedure in medical schools, a professor from the Sociology and Anthropology department of the University of the Philippines-Baguio said on Tuesday.
Reacting to a memo from Pines City Colleges (PCC) in Baguio which supposedly requires students to undergo pregnancy tests, Professor Jennifer Jose said the memo was offensive. However, she said her research revealed that compulsory pregnancy testing is a standard operating procedure in medical schools.
“My gut reaction was this was offensive but I tried to research on the memo, and the information I got was this is standard operating testing in many colleges and universities with medicine, nursing, and other health-aligned courses,” Jose said over an interview with ANC.
She added that compulsory pregnancy tests are conducted to determine whether the school must undertake actions “to protect the pregnancy and the fetus from exposing them to infections” if a student is pregnant.
Though the intent is good, Jose said the mandatory pregnancy testing may be conflict with laws on women’s rights such as the right to privacy and the Magna Carta of Women.
“We have new laws, for example, we have the laws on privacy, the Magna Carta of Women, and other human rights instruments which might be in conflict with the standard operating procedures of medical schools,” the professor said.
Jose then urged the administration of the PCC to “sit down” and find ways to make the pregnancy testing voluntary and not infringe on students’ rights.
“I think the school administration of this university and other colleges should sit down and find a way on how to go about this, not violating the rights of the students and finding ways to make it voluntary and make the students divulge the information if they are pregnant so that they will be protected as well as the fetus,” she said.
Jose added that the school administration should study the laws that the memo might be violating in implementing the compulsory pregnancy testing. /ee
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.