The New York City Department of Education is providing morning-after pills and other birth control drugs to students at 13 city high schools.
School nurse offices supplied with the contraceptives can reportedly dispense “Plan B” emergency contraception and other oral or injectable birth control to girls as young as 14 without telling their parents — unless the parents opt out of the program after receiving a school letter informing them of the new policy.
Fox affiliate WNYW reports that New York City high schools have supplied free condoms to teens in the past, but this is the first time city schools have given hormonal birth control and Plan B, which can prevent pregnancy if taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex.
Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health, known as CATCH, is part of a citywide plan to prevent teen pregnancy.
The city says about 7,000 girls get pregnant by the time they reach the age of 17 and that more than half of them choose to get an abortion, the station reported.
The Plan B distribution could be the first of its kind in the nation, according to The National Association of School Nurses. The organization said it could not locate another school district that supplies Plan B.