Many students don't know the morning after pill is available at their school
Despite recent reports about morning-after pills being available in 13 public schools, not a lot of students amNewYork spoke to at one of the participating schools were aware of it.
"I didn't know anything about that!" exclaimed a 16-year-old senior at Boys and Girls High School in Crown Heights, one of the schools in the sex education pilot program, called CATCH (Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health).
"My friend [here] got pregnant. She just had her baby," the student said. Another schoolmate paid "about $50" to obtain Plan B from a pharmacy, not knowing she could get the medication through school, she added.
The pilot program, rolled out last January to help stem the tide of teenage pregnancy, enables students to get the pills from a school nurse or doctor without getting parental permission, unless parents specifically opt their child out of services. About 40% of teens are sexually active, and about 7,000 girls younger than 17 got pregnant in school year 2011-12, almost all of whom became pregnant unintentionally, according to the health department.
While 64% ended their pregnancies, 2,200 became moms. Schools that did not already have school-based health services and had high pregnancy rates were picked for the program.
A health department spokesman said it was too early to see the program's results, but said 567 students had received Plan B since its inception and another 580 received the birth control pill Reclipsen. Students suggested those numbers might be higher with more publicity.
School officials were not available for comment.