Advocates and opponents of a proposed health clinic for T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria squared off at the school Oct. 1 in the first of six public debates.

A school-based clinic for the students has been recommended by the 38-member Adolescent Health Clinic Task Force. The clinic would provide a score of medical services, including routine physical exams, immunizations, health education, alcohol and substance abuse education, and diagnosis, prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. But it is the clinic's proposal to give students information about contraception and prescriptions for birth control devices that has sparked controversy.

Alexandria Mayor James P. Moran Jr. presented the task force's majority view. He proposed the clinic as one way to stem the city's high teen-age pregnancy rate. In 1986, there were 189 births to teen-agers in Alexandria, 274 abortions and 22 fetal deaths. "If you're a teen-age girl in Alexandria, there's far too high of a chance that you are going to enter adulthood with the emotional scar of having aborted your baby. Or . . . spend what should be one of the most productive and happiest periods of your adult life caring for another human being," Moran said.

Council member Carlyle C. Ring Jr. presented the minority view. Most of the 100-member audience sided with Ring as he opposed the clinic on moral and economic grounds. "The first issue that must be addressed is, are we adequately using existing resources before we duplicate those resources?" Ring said. "We have taken the position as a country that we should not, in public schools where you have compulsory education, impose values that are inconsistent with a significant majority. Thus we ban public prayer. In a free country, we do not impose values on minorities."

The audience then questioned a panel consisting of Moran; Ring; Gary Cyphers, assistant city manager for human services; Dr. Anne Albertson, director of public health, and Christine Yeannakis, director of substance abuse for the city Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse.

Many voiced concerns that the clinic would duplicate existing services and send a message of sexual permissiveness to students by providing condoms and other forms of birth control. "I have no hang-ups whatsoever on all of the array of other services besides the sex part," said Alexandria resident Mourice Flynn. "Provided we can afford it and it makes up for our alleged shortcomings in the services available, what in the world is wrong with saying it is dead wrong to go and have promiscuous sex?"

Only a few in the audience were of high school age. Gina LaSasso, a T.C. Williams senior, said: "The CARS {Catch a Ride Safely} program here at T.C. Williams gives rides to students who have been drinking . . . . It says, 'Don't drink, but if you have to drink, at least call CARS so that you can get home safely.' I see some correlation with the clinic that says, 'Don't have sex, but if you're going to have sex, at least protect yourself.' "

There are 76 school-based health clinics in 22 states.

The clinic would be accessible to T.C. Williams High School but not on the campus. Birth control devices would be available. Under state law, medical personnel may prescribe birth control devices to students without parental permission. The City Council will decide on the clinic later this year. Other forums will include one in Spanish at 5:15 p.m. Sunday at Grace Episcopal Church, 3601 Russell Rd. Others, all at 7:30 p.m., will be held Oct. 20 at Hopkins House, 1224 Princess St.; Oct. 21 at George Washington Junior High, 1005 Mount Vernon Ave., and Oct. 29 at Church of the Resurrection, 2280 N. Beauregard St.