City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has voiced her support for the New York City Department of Education’s new scheme which offers the “morning after” pill to students.
The pilot scheme has been rolled out at 13 schools. In an effort to combat teen pregnancy, school nurses within this Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Health (CATCH) scheme are being stocked with Plan B contraceptive pills.
Students in New York City high schools already have access to free condoms.
Fox reports that 7,000 girls under the age of 17 get pregnant every year in New York City. Fifty percent of these girls choose to get an abortion.
This the first scheme of its kind in the United States but according to reports in the New York Post, it could very well go nationwide.
Irish American Quinn, the frontrunner for the position of Mayor of New York, said, “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.”
Under the scheme, birth control pills are available to children as young as 14 without parental notification. However, the parents in all of the schools involved were informed about the scheme in advance. CBS reports that only two percent of parents opted out of the scheme.
At the High School of Fashion Industries in Chelsea, Manhattan, 85 percent of the students are female. One cautious freshman at the school told the New York Post, “I don’t want to be a young kid who gets pregnant and can’t find a job.”
Another 14-year-old agreed. They said, “I would go to the nurse without telling my parents, and I would ask for help.”
However, Annette Palacios (15), who was interviewed alongside her mother, said, “Girls shouldn’t be sexually active at that age.”
Here’s PIX 11’s report: