For a year, CATCH for Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Healthcare, a program aimed to prevent teenage pregnancy quietly went unnoticed in several New York City public schools. As of last year, 13 public high schools have equipped their nurses with emergency contraception. The pills are designed to prevent a pregnancy, if used within 72 hours of having unprotected sex. So far 567 students have received emergency contraception courtesy of their school. In addition to the morning after pill, the schools also have condoms and easy access to birth control pills for students.

According to Alexandra Waldhorn, a health department spokesperson, “In New York City over 7,000 young women become pregnant by age 17, 90 percent of which are unplanned. We are committed to trying new approaches, like this pilot program in place since January 2011, to improve a situation that can have lifelong consequences.”

Between 1 to 2 percent of parents have decided to opt out of the program, so it seems that most agree with the initiative. But of course not everyone agrees with distributing the morning after pill. New York State Assemblyman Marcos Crespo (D) wants Mayor Michael Bloomberg to end the program. “It is unconscionable for New York City’s government to implement any program that gives medication to students without the prior authorization of parents,” he said in a letter to the mayor.

Should high schools be equipped with the power to disseminate the morning after pill?

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  • ImJustSaying

    I graduated HS in 2004 and we had access to BC and condoms through the nurse. Parents were informed about this at the beginning of every school year and had the right to say yes or no for their child. I think CATCH is kind of going around the parental consent point by only having the Opt-out decision for parents. No BC is fool proof except abstinence but recent history and MTV have shown us a lot of kids aren’t taking that route. The more barriers to babies having babies there are the happier I am. Any parent who doesn’t like it can opt-out for their child but I hope they don’t receive a a rude awakening when their son or daughter comes home saying the stick turned blue.

  • Smilez_920

    It’s not going to help dramaticaly. The rates might go down for a while but they’ll go back to normal. These kids aren’t responsible enough to use condoms or go to a clinic to get checked , you really think all of them will make the 72 hour deadline, adults don’t make the 72 hour deadline. And what about aids , HIV , herpes , if your going to give out morning after pills then give out std testing In the office because I can already see some little boy trying to have unprotected sex and telling the girl ” just get the pill after”. Will there be a limit in how many pills a student can get, I’m sure to many of those pills can mess you up for good .

    Some of these girls aren’t keeping the baby because they don’t have a way or know about prevention. For some a lot of these girls it’s deeper than that. They want love, they want to be grown, they think its cute, theyre trying to keep some boy around, they want a title, some kind of meaning.

    I would say the parents need to talk to their children , but some of them are just as foolish.

    • Sweetles

      I agree. I see this as irresponsible on a number of levels.

    • Smilez_920

      In this day and age there are so many babies having babies we need something to stop it sense their not scared of pregnancy.

      I think the parents should be informed everytime their child goes to get a pill. And both children should be tested stds and HIV after they receive a pill. They also need to have the family referred to a plan pater hood clinic for birth control.

  • Jenn

    This is a tough call. I’m ok with schools offering condoms to high school students. But birth control & the morning after pill? I don’t know about that. When I was school, you couldn’t even take a darn Tylenol without a doctor’s note. But now schools are allowed to give kids hormones? I’m uncomfortable with that. And I have another major concern. As an educator, I’ve come across way too many teenage girls who think that being on pill means they don’t need to use condoms. That’s a problem.