Schools to offer morning-after pill to NYC students

Posted: 8:00 PM EDT Sep 26, 2012   Updated: 5:24 AM EDT Sep 27, 2012

A program first introduced last year, which allows the distribution of condoms and birth control pills in five New York City schools, has now expanded.

The city-funded Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health Care or better known as the 'CATCH' program, will now allow female students as young as 14 to get the 'plan B' pill at 13 city high schools without parental consent.

The morning-after pill prohibits pregnancy if taken within the first 72 hours after having unprotected sex.

President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Northeast, Mid-Penn and Bucks County, Kim Custer tells WFMZ “the goal, the program in New York and the goal for Planned Parenthood is to help reduce unintended pregnancies among teenagers.”

Custer adds programs like 'CATCH' are intended to help the teens who may not be in an ideal family setting.

“Those kids still need to be able to have access to reproductive health care so they can lead a healthy and safe life and eventually grow up and have families when they're ready to take care of their family,” said Custer.

Even though, the story has received plenty of attention in the media, parents don't seem as concerned.

Only 1 to 2 percent have opted out, according to the New York City health department.

Regardless, some community leaders say these types of programs send the wrong message.

“We're reacting to the symptom instead of correcting the cause,” said Steven Lozada, an associate pastor of Templo el Refugio en Bethlehem.

Lozada argues the CATCH program only medicates the underlying issue and that young people shouldn't be on their own when making such decisions.

“If we can help them because of our experience as adults, and as leaders make the right decision and help them to make deliberate choices as to 'these are the things that will be affected in my future, should I choose to continue perhaps having sex at this young age?',” said Lozada.