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September 24th, 2012
10:48 AM ET

CNN's Alina Cho on birth control given to New York City high school students: 'many parents may be clueless'

More than a dozen New York high schools are currently raising eyebrows and concern from parents for offering morning-after pulls and other birth control drugs to students. Parents may be unaware if their teens are taking the drugs, which are all part of a program called CATCH which was formed to prevent teen pregnancies. CNN's Alina Cho joins “Early Start” this morning with details on the risky initiative and how parents are responding to it.

Alino Cho reports that the schools participating in the pilot program, which has been quietly active since January of 2011, “have been picked because the students there were known to have a higher risk of getting pregnant and a lower access to healthcare.”

She cites that over 1,100 students in 14 high schools have been given the so called morning-after pill, or Plan B. “The most surprising part of all of this… is that many parents may be clueless about it. The students do not need the permission from their parents to get the pill,” and are allowed to get it unless parents sign a letter opting out of the program, says Cho.

While we’re told that the letters were sent home and mailed, “the Department of Health says that no more than two percent of parents at each school sent them back,” Cho says. Cho and Sambolin offer that kids may prevent parents from ever getting the letter. “You don’t bring it home and you intercept the mail,” Sambolin says.

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Filed under: Drugs • Education
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Joe C.

    I don't under sand why the schools send a letter to"Opt-out of the Birth control program" it should have been a letter to opt-in not out that way the kids would make sure that the parents got the letter, & not be able to hide it from them

    September 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  2. Nelson

    Slight correction, you only need to be 17 to get emergency contraception over the counter. My high school had the same program and it has been highly effective.

    September 24, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  3. Ram Barlev

    PLan B can be dispensed according to the FDA to those over 17 years of age, NOT 18. Please have guests who know the facts. How embarrasing !!

    September 24, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Reply

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