The morning-after pill is now available to students in thirteen different New York schools, thanks to New York City’s CATCH (Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health) plan. This means that kids will have access to this pill and other contraceptives as early as the age of fourteen.
While parents can sign a form withholding their consent to allow their daughters take these drugs, if there is no signed form, there is no requirement that the parents be told. The New York Post reports that according to a Department of Health spokeswoman, only 1%-2% of parents are opting out of the program.
The teen pregnancy statistics for New York City show that teen pregnancies are a problem:
7,000 girls under age 17 got pregnant last year citywide
90% of those pregnancies were unplanned
64% were aborted
2,200 became moms by age 17. About 70 percent drop out of school.
But is providing the morning-after pill the correct solution to the problem?
In an article on Fox News, the senior managing health editor expressed his opinion on the dangers of providing the morning-after pill in the public school setting:
You don’t fix one problem by creating another. … This is not only about Plan B – it’s about full contraception services to teens in school. [These] include Plan B, birth control pills and injectible forms of birth control, all of which are typically given under medical supervision, after a good evaluation of the patient has been done, and the patient has received counseling of the risk-benefit ratios.
We will continue to have ‘high rates’ of teens having sex (in some pockets of the country), because just providing them with a solution for contraception will not educate them on the risks of having sex, like the spread of sexually transmitted diseases[.]
While condoms are handed out in New York City schools, this is the first reported instance where the morning-after pill was made available to students.
When I checked Fox News’s “Should schools be allowed to distribute birth control without informing and getting permission from parents” poll, almost 48,000 people had voted in favor of allowing school kids access to birth control without parental knowledge, while only 26,783 people had voted that parents needed to be involved. This means that roughly two-thirds of the voters are okay with removing parents from the picture!
This give incredible medical control to school medical personnel. As one school employee stated, “[w]e can’t give out a Tylenol without a doctor’ s order. Why should we give out hormonal preparations with far more serious possible side effects, such as blood clots and hypertension?”
Is this really going to help the teen pregnancy problem? Or is it merely an attempt to mask the results instead of addressing the problem of why teens find themselves pregnant in the first place?