NYC Schools To Offer Plan B ‘Morning After’ Pill

By Amir Khan on September 24, 2012 12:10 PM EDT

Plan B
A pilot program in 13 New York City schools will allow school nurses to dispense the "morning after" pill and other contraceptives to students (Photo: Planbonestep.com)

A pilot program in 13 New York City schools will allow school nurses to dispense the "morning after" pill and other contraceptives to students. The program, known as the Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Health (CATCH) plan, is aimed at stemming the high rates of teen pregnancy.

More than 7,000 NYC residents become pregnant by time they are 17 years old, and nearly half of those pregnancies are aborted, according to the Department of Health. The high numbers indicate that the problem cannot be ignored, Christine Quinn, City Council speaker, told CBS News.

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"High school students are very sexually active and getting pregnant, so we don't have that luxury to think that they are too young to be engaged in conversations about contraception and sexual education," she said.

The pill will be available to students 14 and older with no parental notification. The Department of Education sent letters to parents informing them about the program and how to opt out, but only 1 to 2 percent of parents have done so, the DOE said.

Plan B is typically sold over the counter, but those under the age of 18 need a prescription for it. However, under the program, students simply need to inform the nurse that they had unprotected sex.

Along with the morning after pill, students can also ask to receive the birth control pill and Depo-Provera, a birth-control drug injected every three months.

But although only a small number of parents have opted out, not all school officials are on board with the plan.

"We can't give out a Tylenol without a doctor's order," one school staffer, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the New York Post. "Why should we give out hormonal preparations with far more serious possible side effects, such as blood clots and hypertension?"

 

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