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Nurses dispense ‘morning after’ pill in New York high schools

Posted at 4:29 PM, Sep 24, 2012
and last updated 2012-09-24 16:29:27-04

NEW YORK (WTVR)–Some New York high schools offer students the so-called morning after pill in hopes of curbing unplanned teen pregnancies.

Last year, the Health Department decided to make the Plan B pill available to students and the pilot program has now expanded to 13 schools.

The program is called Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Health care (CATCH) and at all of the 13 schools involved, parents were notified and given the chance to opt out.

While some students said it’s a bad idea, others argue that providing the pills does not encourage teen pregnancy, but rather prevents it.

You must be 17 –years-old to buy Plan B at the pharmacy without a prescription.

The program has been around for about a year or more and Deborah Kaplan, NYC Asst.. Communication for the Bureau of Maternal, Infant & Reproductive Health said that the schools make every effort to reach parents.

“We mail letters out to every parent and young people are given letters to bring home,” Kaplan said.” They’re available at the school, at parent meetings, and we wait for weeks after the letters go out to wait to see if parents decide they want to have their child in the program.”

Kaplan said that one percent to two percent of parents over the past year have opted out of the program. She said that research shows about 40 percent of young people are sexually active.

“And while we totally encourage them and believe it’s so critical that they talk with their parents, not all young people can or feel they can and yet they’re sexually active,” Kaplan said.” We’re looking at how can we protect these young people from unintended pregnancy and make sure they get the services they need to through a trusted nurse in the school if there’s no other ways to get those services.”