Tuesday, September 25, 2012

NYC schools give out morning-after pills to students — without telling parents

The Department of Education is giving morning-after pills and other birth-control drugs to students at 13 high schools, The Post has learned.

School nurse offices stocked with the contraceptives can dispense “Plan B” emergency contraception and other oral or injectable birth control to girls without telling their parents — unless parents opt out after getting a school informational letter about the new program.

CATCH — Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Health — is part of a citywide attack against the epidemic of teen pregnancy, which spurs many girls — most of them poor — to drop out of school.

While Big Apple high schools have long supplied free condoms to sexually active teens, this is the first time city schools have dispensed hormonal birth control and Plan B, which can prevent pregnancy if taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex.

It might be a nationwide first as well. The National Association of School Nurses could cite no other school district supplying Plan B.

So far, during an unpublicized pilot program in five city schools last year, 567 students received Plan B tablets and 580 students received Reclipsen birth-control pills, the city Department of Health told The Post.

This fall, students can also get Depo-Provera, a birth-control drug injected once every three months, officials said.