Plan B: Now Available in Some City High Schools
October 18, 2012
There is a city where free condoms are distributed at Steve Madden’s shoe stores, some beauty parlors and even at some fro-yo places. Yet it is also a city that has reported over 7,000 teen pregnancies in the past year. And, it is now a city that is offering the emergency contraceptive (EC) pill, specifically Plan B One-Step, in some of its schools. That city is New York City. When taken up to five days after unprotected vaginal intercourse or intercourse where the method of birth control failed, EC can reduce the risk of pregnancy. In some New York City public high schools, a program called CATCH (Connecting Adolescent To Comprehensive Health) has been implemented and seeks to curb the high rate of teen pregnancies in the city.
NYC Council Speaker, Christie Quinn, told WCBS that the purpose of the CATCH program is to decrease the number of teen pregnancies. She understands that some teens are engaging in sexual behaviors, and it’s normal for them to be having conversations about contraception and sex ed. Teens 17 and older can purchase EC over the counter without a prescription. Through the CATCH program however, EC will be available to teens 14 and older without parental consent.
While many adults find it hard to believe that teens are engaging in sexual behaviors, others have realized that it is important to trust teens to make healthy decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health. Even in a city where condoms are widely available, it’s great that EC is also now more available for teens. Condoms can break or other birth control methods can fail. Sometimes it isn’t about not taking the proper precautions; sometimes things just happen or something goes awry. With the freedom to obtain Plan B One-Step from the nurse’s office down the hall from a high school classroom, more New York City teen can decrease the chances of a potential pregnancy—and that should be good news for all.