A Pennsylvania congresswoman has introduced legislation that would deny school districts federal funds if they dispense the “morning-after” pill to students, reports Family News in Focus.

Rep. Melissa Hart, R-Penn., expects bipartisan passage of the School Children Health Protection Act. Pro-abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood have opposed such legislation in the past, the report said, as have teachers unions.

“The morning-after pill is a very heavy dose of hormones,” Hart told Family News in Focus. “It has all kinds of side effects, some potentially very dangerous.”

Opponents of the pill, which is also referred to as “emergency contraception,” contend that it can cause an abortion by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the girl’s uterus.

The Focus report mentions that a survey has found that hundreds of school clinics across the nation dispense the drug, including at least one elementary school. The pill is often given to students without permission or knowledge of parents.

“You could have a parent not even knowing that the child is sexually active, which means that there’s no way to discuss that issue with the child, to help that child make a better decision,” Hart told the news service.

Those supporting the practice argue school nurses should be free to hand out the morning-after pill if a young woman is raped or abused, but Sheila Moloney of the House Republican Study Committee refuted that idea.

“If a girl has been raped or abused, then the school nurse should not be the one treating her,” Moloney commented. “If she’s been raped she should be in the hospital.”

Although Hart’s bill originally was offered as an amendment, it is now an individual piece of legislation that will be considered on its own.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.