New York City is handing out birth control including the morning-after pill to students at some of its schools under the auspices of a burgeoning health initiative called Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Health. The, er, catch? Students don't have to tell parents, notes the New York Post, unless parents have previously opted out of the program, which is aimed at stemming the tide of teenage pregnancy. While schools in the Big Apple have long made condoms available, it's the first time hormonal birth control is being offered in any school nationwide.
In addition to Plan B and Reclipsen, students will also have access to the quarterly birth control injection Depo-Provera this fall. The program predictably has critics, with one school staffer complaining, "We 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?" But some, though not all, students welcome the option. Says one freshman: "I don’t want to be a young kid who gets pregnant and can’t find a job."