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Published On: Mon, Sep 24th, 2012

NY Schools can hand out morning after pills, birth control drugs without parental consent

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

Forsaken: Women from Tauton Talk about Abortion Photo/Amazon

Unless parents opt out of the program after receiving the letter from the school, nurses can dispense PLAN B contraception abortion injections without informing their parents.

CATCH — Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Health — is part of a citywide attack against the epidemic of teen pregnancy, which attempts to curve the dropout rate, especially poor students, who put themselves into this situation. (County site here)

The Post article details how the hormonal birth control and Plan B can prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of the unprotected sex.

The National Association of School Nurses could cite no other school district supplying Plan B.

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.

Oral and injectable contraceptives require prescriptions, which, in the CATCH program, are written by Health Department doctors.

Plan B is typically sold as an over-the-counter medication, but those under age 18 need a prescription.

 The CATCH program circumvents these requirements and students can tell a trained school nurse they had unprotected sex. The student will then get a test to see if she is already pregnant; if not, the prescription is issued and she can walk out with the pill.

The city expanded CATCH to 14 schools with more than 22,000 students over the past year.

 Officials dropped one, Seward Park Campus in lower Manhattan, because CATCH was overwhelming the medical office.

Parents at the 14 schools were sent letters informing them about CATCH.

Parents may bar their kids from getting pregnancy tests or contraceptives if they sign and return an opt-out statement.

If they do not, schools can confidentially give the contraception without permission.

An average 1 to 2 percent of parents at each school have returned the opt-out sheets, said DOH spokeswoman Alexandra Waldhorn.

At the High School of Fashion Industries in Chelsea, where 85 percent of the students are girls, ninth-graders were told about CATCH at summer orientation.

“I don’ t want to be a young kid who gets pregnant and can’t find a job,” one cautious freshman told The Post.

A 14-year-old pal agreed. “I would go to the nurse without telling my parents, and I would ask for help,” she said.

But sophomore Annette Palacios, 15, outside the school with her mom, said parents should give consent in case their children are “allergic” to the drugs.

“Girls shouldn’t be sexually active at that age,” she added.

Her mom, Pania, complained that she got no opt-out letter — and does not want Annette to secretly get Plan B or birth-control pills from the nurse.

“Parents should know if their daughter is pregnant,” she said.

Teacher Rosa Chavez applauded CATCH, saying she had two pregnant students last year. “Getting knocked up”, she said, “is not cool and not accepted among peers.”

Check out the article for many more details and stats – click here

TEEN PREGNANCY COMPLICATIONS

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.

Source: NYC Department of Health

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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