September 24th, 2012
03:00 PM ET

New York schools offer 'morning after' pill to students

(CNN) - Since January 2011, more than 1,100 New York City students from 14 schools have gotten "morning after" and other birth control pills - from school.

The pilot program, called Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health, provides the birth control measures at schools where students are known to have a higher rate of pregnancy and less access to healthcare. In New York City, nearly half of teens have had sexual intercourse, CNN's Alina Cho reports, and seven out of 10 pregnant girls drop out.

"We are committed to trying new approaches ... to improve a situation that can have negative consequences that last a lifetime," New York's health department said in a statement.

The program, which now operates in 13 schools, is facing some criticism.

Students don't need permission from parents to get the pills, unless parents opt-out of the program through letters mailed and sent home with students. Some question whether parents have seen the letters and are aware of the program. All New York City schools already distribute free condoms.

What do you think? Should schools make the "morning after" pill and other birth control measures available to students?

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Filed under: High school • Issues • video
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. MCR

    Perhaps a good compromise would be to require any student who receives this to attend a special remedial 3 hour course on STDs, using birth control and making decisions. I suspect the annoyance alone would lower the rate of kids who make the mistakes a second time.

    September 30, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  2. kmcg

    We already have rampant HPV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea (and scary news is a lot of it's anti-biotic resistant)... and syphilis is on the rise... the schools already give out condoms, and push them. But condoms break, aren't used properly. At least the girls have a chance now to avoid pregnancy too, and that disease stays with you for 18+ years.

    September 26, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  3. Laura

    This is OUTRAGEOUS!!! I have to fill out 3 forms and have them signed by my doctor in order for the nurss to administer an EpiPen to my daughter in case of allergic reaction. But they can give her the morning after pill without telling me? Does anyone se the insanity here? I am a teacher and cannot even give a student neosporin or tylenol, but they are allowed to gve an Abortive pill to my CHILD. Wow. On another note, How many Conservatives pay attention to CNN anymore? I think the comments section here answers tha question: Very few. I'm sad that CNN has become so very biased.

    September 25, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Jamie

      The morning after pill is not an abortive pill. You do know that it takes more than "the morning after" for an egg to embed in the uterus, right?

      September 26, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • shannon

      then sign the opt out letter. , though i agree you have to sign an opt out for plan b but have to sign a million things to allow life saveing medication to be brought in or held by the office.

      September 27, 2012 at 12:59 am |
  4. KR

    As a parent, I would rather that my child has access to something like this is if it were necessary. That being said, I do plan to educate my girls and instill values in them that would lead to good life choices as they grow up.

    I don't agree with using Plan B as a main source of birth control, but accidents do happen. This medication is meant for cases of birth control malfunction or as a "back up" birth control. It could be that these kids are using condoms, but they slip or break. Also, it has to be taken within 72 hours to be effective.

    That being said, I do think there should be a way to include this kind of thing in the paperwork that needs to be filled out and turned in every school year... there should be some sort of an opt-in, rather than opt-out process. In the event a teenager's family would be opted-out, I'd say refer them to Planned Parenthood. But that's just my opinion.

    September 25, 2012 at 6:18 am |
  5. Julie

    Well, if they allowed REAL s e x education in school as well as access to birth control, they wouldn't need to do this! So many schools.. and states... now flatly refuse to give any kind of s e x education to these kids. All the kids get now is "put an aspirin between your legs". Sheesh, kids got better information in the 1950's! So if you are complaining about this, maybe you need to be the person out there SCREAMING about how s e x education should be taught accurately and appropriately in school.

    September 25, 2012 at 6:05 am |
  6. Sabrina

    Nothing wrong with it. They have parents permission. It's called progress, get over it. End of subject!

    September 25, 2012 at 3:37 am |

      Students don't need permission from parents to get the pills, unless parents opt-out of the program through letters mailed and sent home with students.

      Read the srticle. They dont have to tell parents

      September 25, 2012 at 7:24 am |
      • MCR

        Parents are giving permission to let their kids do this without telling them – that's the whole point. Most parents realize their kid will hesitate if their parents are going to find out, so you wave the right to know certain things for the best welfare of the child (not having a baby in school).

        September 30, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  7. stingerhp

    Where is that Flukey gal when you need her ??

    September 24, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  8. Pat

    Does this strike anyone else as genocide?

    September 24, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Tracey


      September 24, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Katy

      not even close.

      September 24, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • AMH

      NO its called taking care of the earth. if every girl that did not take the pill and went through with a pregnancy... well, the population does not need to increase!

      September 24, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Lynn Walker

      Is this a serious question?

      September 24, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • RBN


      September 24, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Guest

      Yes, in more ways than one. If girls do start relying on pills afterwards( pretty likely with teenagers) there will be an AIDS epidemic for sure. One of the nastier side effects of the morning after pill is it also increases the risk of a potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy. It is on the website discussing side effects for the after pill. The school better have permission on file rather than just opting out or they will get sued the first time one of the girls hides the symptoms & dies.

      September 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
      • Uninvited Guest

        please leave, and take your neo-con views with you.

        September 24, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
      • Guest

        You mean I should take my educated about a variety of birth control choices with me, Uninvited Guest!
        A proper education about healthy s3x habits & avoiding disease with C O N D O M S is much better in the long term for both the students & our over burdened health care system.
        Aside from side effects & a 60% higher cancer risks for teen users; oral contraceptives in actual usage have the same fail rate with teenagers as condoms do. Condoms also have the advantage in helping to prevent AIDS & other nasty STD's. Oral contraceptives unfortunately make the user slightly more likely to contract all types of STD's, even more than the ones who stupidly use no contraception at all. The CDC in Atlanta has the stats on that. Plus, this morning after pill is limited only to age 17 & above for over the counter use. Under that age; a prescription, & doctor's supervision is still required. Also that pill can only be taken during the first 72 hours. The one that can be taken up to 5 days later requires a doctor's supervision too, even for adults.
        Please educate yourself. That is what is really needed for these students, a good education in their healthiest options for pregnancy prevention. Options that will not harm them now, or long term.

        September 25, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • Pat needs to learn the definition of the word genocide

      no pat. it's not genocide.

      September 24, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • riley

      you dumb birth control should be optional to every one, duh.

      September 24, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Havoc

      10/10 Trolling successful

      September 25, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • MCR

      Please take a course in demographics – you have no idea what you're talking about.

      September 30, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  9. tkret

    I do not think the schools should be giving out birth control pills, condoms or any other contraception to teenagers. Morals have changed since I was a teen.
    The message we are sending to the teens is "don't worry, we'll take care of you if you have relations". Sending this message to 14, 15 and 16 years old is just not right. And the parents don't have to know about it? Too much.
    Children should be taught in point blank terms the disadvantages of having relations when they are so young.

    September 24, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • AMH

      Not every parent is a good parent and will tell their teens about this or talk about it at all. These people could have benefited most from this because they shouldn't be parents in the first place.

      September 24, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Uninvited Guest

      you do realize that kids do have physical relationships right? If you have kids, they're probably having physical relationships (with each other) as you type.

      September 24, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
  10. dani

    No I do not think schools should provide plan b to students. I totally think birth control and contraceptives should be provided. I think this is encouraging girls to abuse it.

    September 24, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Random Excess

      No, it does not. I have never heard of a single case of anyone engaging in promiscuous relation only because they had access to school supplied contraception. You are living in a fantasy world filled with your own gut feelings instead of dealing with reality. Young people engage in intimate physical relations, the more uneducated they are the more relations they engage it... there is a name for that... EVOLUTION... we are animals and as animals we behave as animals... the only way to combat the drive instilled in us by evolution is education and options... programs like this do not result in more kids doing it, but less... funny how much more interesting the world is when you open your eyes, your heart and your mind and see things as they are instead of relying on your gut feelings to inform your reality.

      September 25, 2012 at 7:11 am |
  11. Deanna

    i think that the schools shouldnt be allowed to do that because you have to have a doctors to even have it in your backpack.

    September 24, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Uninvited Guest

      Well Deanna, not every school has the same rules now do they? think deanna...use that brain that your 'god' gave you.

      September 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  12. Kvan

    I can understand not wanted to see teen pregnancies but this drug does come with certain side effects and should be used with caution especially if were talking about a young teen. Imagine if the parent did not actually sign the authorization; there could be huge liability issues for the school district if anything goes wrong – giving out drugs without a parent or gynecologist consult. Yikes!

    September 24, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Guest

      Wait until the lawsuits start when a girl obtains one to use after she has missed 3-4 periods OR if taking this powerful hormone results in a huge increase of certain types of cancer; just like they found taking estrogen in your teens does for breast cancer. This is a doctor supervision required drug & it does not prevent AIDS. Let them use condoms instead.

      September 24, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Uninvited Guest

      plan B is over the counter. it does not require doctor's supervision to take it.

      September 24, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
      • Guest

        Under age 17; a prescription has been required since December of 2011, according to the US Department of Human Services. This New York City School system apparently didn't get the memo!

        September 25, 2012 at 12:08 am |
      • kmcg

        Maybe the school health clinics have doctors... ever think about that?

        September 26, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
      • Guest

        School nurses are not doctors.

        September 30, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • MCR

      "drug does come with certain side effects and should be used with caution especially if were talking about a young teen"

      Pregnancy comes with much bigger side effects.

      September 30, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
      • Guest

        Pregnancy does not cause a girl's breast cancer risk to elevate 60% PERMANENTLY. Oral contraception causes higher transmission rates for HIV than using NO birth control(CDC stats). Will you hold her hand as she dies from an aggressive cancer in 20 -30 years, or give her the news that she has AIDS? It is safer to have a 1st trimester abortion after a barrier method failure than to pass these pills out.

        September 30, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
  13. A-Good

    So, you need permission to administer an aspirin and none to give the morning after pill which has serious side effects and should be given only by a gynecologist. And without parent's knowledge because of course most of them did not see the letter. Instead of opting out, why not send an OPT IN letter which would be required to give the pill. That would give back the parents some control on their kids' lives.
    What is wrong with you, people?

    September 24, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Katy

      just to clarify, there are no extreme side effects to plan b. It has been used for more than 35 years.The most common side effect. which only 14% of people experience is nausea and 1% experienced vomiting.

      September 24, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • roger

      all this is done on purpose, its one of the steps of big government to break the family cell and have more authority on children than the parents do, wake up people

      September 24, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
      • Uninvited Guest

        I think you need to wake up Roger... you're dreaming about the 50's and your "family values" ... which consisted of a bunch of ignorant racist morons who beat their kids.

        September 24, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Guest

      I would call the increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy with the morning after pill a pretty serious side effect Katy. A-Good is completely right, these should be parent's permission only medicines. There is a higher risk of AIDS with ALL oral contraceptives & elevated risks of certain types of cancer.
      They are giving these drugs to children as young as 14. Estrogen use in the teens increases the risk of breast cancer by 60% according to "The Lancet". Plus the parents will never even know what their child is taking. 20 years later; that woman will not remember what they were given in school. There will be no doctor's record of it to tell them to be alert for a rapid growth cancer that can kill in 90 days.

      September 24, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
      • Ahealthycitizen

        The only thing that raises a person's risk of AIDS is having HIV first and foremost. Contraceptives have absolutely nothing to do with it. Plan B is OTC so these girls can get it from Walgreens too, without parental permission.

        September 24, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
      • Guest

        Barrier methods like condoms do help prevent AIDS. Try checking the CDC website. Oral contraception actually makes users slightly more vulnerable to the HIV virus than even those who use no contraception at all. This is basic health care. Where were you when it was taught? Sleeping?

        September 25, 2012 at 12:14 am |
      • MCR

        Would you argue that a parent should be allowed to force a child to have a baby (a much more dangerous risk) against that child's wishes?

        September 30, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
      • Guest

        Oral contraception has the same failure rate in use as condoms. Barrier methods DO offer some protection against AIDS while the pills offer NONE. A potentially deadly ectopic pregnancy has symptoms similar to the side effects of the morning after drug & the drug raises the risk of an ectopic pregnancy. Is death better when a 1st trimester abortion is safe & legal? This is more risk than I would want any child to take for "prevention".

        September 30, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Big Tree

      from a legal perspective ..........................field day !!!!
      Any medication given to a minor in a supervised setting would need a parental consent, NOT opt out form.

      September 25, 2012 at 4:39 am |
    • jennymay

      Do parents not have the control to raise their children in the way they see fit?

      September 26, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
      • MCR

        Obviously not – some parents think that its appropriate to subject their daughters to FGM and we don't allow it. Some would keep their kids out of school. We draw all sorts of lines on what parents can and cannot do – every culture does. The question is always just where to draw the line. It's fine to disagree with this, but it's not about "parent rights, yes or no". The question is always one of where to draw the line.

        September 30, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  14. Keeker

    This is BS. Who is paying for all this? The Taxpayers? Totally wrong.

    September 24, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Lauren

      Would you rather pay for birth control or an unwanted pregnancy? Economics says you should be a little more supportive of birth control being available to teenagers.

      September 24, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • peakprofit

      I can't say for sure who is paying for the pill. But I am 100% certain that if a 15 year old inner city girl has a baby, the taxpayers will DEFINITELY be paying for that.

      September 24, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
      • Guest

        I would rather pay for her condoms or her baby rather than for her cancer treatments in 20-30 years. Estrogen given to teens raises their breast cancer risk by 60% according to "the Lancet". Go check the websites for the American Cancer Society.
        Plus, the cancer will be an aggressive one. The type that causes 90% of the deaths from breast cancer.

        September 24, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  15. Tom Messina

    All kinds of side issues:

    1. Parent could have opted out (CNN) but did not say a paper was sent home and the parents had to return the paper ...wonder how many never saw the paper or understood what they were to sign.

    2. One NYC school had to drop the program b/c they were buried in birthcontrol requests.

    3 Are the NYC schools becoming the "nanny" for NYC parents, Parents will not be notified when the student is given birth control products.

    I am to old for this, there is something basically wrong when the major city decides we do not want Chic-fil-a, wants gay marriages, how much soda you should drink and gives children the "day after" pill. It does not seem right to me.

    September 24, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • AMH

      So, your against gay marriage but its not ok for teens to have access to the morning after pill so they can atleast make the right choice after an accident so they don't ruin their lives with an unplanned pregnancy?!

      September 24, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  16. what1ever

    I really don't see what the big deal is...

    September 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  17. Anthony Leung

    If unity were an isue lol

    September 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  18. 5foot4brunette

    What do you think? Should schools make the "morning after" pill and other birth control measures available to students?

    YES. Take it once and you'll never want to take it again. It makes you sick for days.

    They should also include a inschool daycare program .........having the students be supervised by acredited teachers, have them care for the children as part of a class and also to help them find employment in daycare or preschool facilities.

    just an idea ya know

    September 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  19. Rachelle

    This segment is absolutely ridiculous...a 1-2 percent response rate for a mailed directive is actually REALLY good. Also, the reporters dont take into account that there may be parents who cannot read english or who just plain dont even care what happens with their kids.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  20. rosethornne

    Since educational programs have been cut, this after-the-fact way of reducing teen pregnancy is a better idea than leaving them with no options.

    Although, it would be much more sensible to educate our children and give them access to before-the-fact preventive measures.

    Anyone who thinks kids aren't going to have se.x is deluded. Or extreme-denial xtian.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  21. A. Dixon

    A realistic way of stopping teenage girls from getting pregnant??? Sounds good to me!

    September 24, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Tracey

      Me too

      September 24, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Guest

      What about HIV? It will really suck when students stop using condoms for the pill, or rely on the after pill. We could have a major epidemic of AIDS. Just how long will it be before we have a social disease problem with rampant HPV? Chlamydia? Syphilis? Gonorrhea? Some of these students are IV drug users, some of them peddle their bodies on street corners. Let's be brutally realistic here. There are absolutely no outward signs of HIV for years, & teenagers already tend to have multiple partners even when they are in a "relationship". This is not going to be good.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:39 am |