Human Events Blog

New York City gives tens of thousands of morning-after pills to high-school students, without parental permission

On Monday, the New York Post dropped a bombshell in “the Bloomberg Administration’s stealth war on teen pregnancy,” revealing that a massive amount of “morning after” birth-control pills has been distributed to high-school students, without obtaining permission from their parents:

Handouts of the “morning-after pill” to sexually active students have skyrocketed under an unpublicized project in which health centers in public schools offer girls a full menu of free birth-control drugs and devices, records obtained by The Post show.

Last September, the city revealed it had started giving out Plan B and other birth control in the nurses’ offices of 13 high schools. At the time, officials said 567 girls had gotten Plan B.

But the birth-control blitz was much bigger than the city had acknowledged. About 40 separate “school-based health centers” doled out 12,721 doses of Plan B in 2011-12, up from 10,720 in 2010-11 and 5,039 in 2009-10, according to the newly released data.

About 22,400 students sought reproductive care from January 2009 through last school year, records show. Under state law, minors don’t need parental OKs to get contraceptives.

And that’s just the “emergency contraception.”  School clinics have also been dispensing “prescriptions for birth control pills, intrauterine devices (IUDs), hormone-delivering injections and Patch and NuvaRing.”  For students without health insurance, this cornucopia of birth control is provided “free of charge,” with reimbursements from a “nonprofit prescription service” called NYCRx.  According to its website, this service was started in 2005 by “the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene with seed funding from HRSA, the federal office that oversees the Office of Pharmacy Affairs and the 340B program.”  It became an independent 501(c)3 corporation in 2007.

No one in the city government seemed eager to discuss this plan with the public, or the Post.  They had to file a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the numbers.  Reaction to their expose, from at least some parents, was not positive:

The revelations stunned Mona Davids, president of the NYC Parents Union, whose 14-year-old attends a Manhattan high school.

“I’m in shock,” she said. “What gives the mayor the right to decide, without adequate notice, to give our children drugs that will impact their bodies and their psyches? He has purposely kept the public and parents in the dark with his agenda.”

Davids, who is black, noted that most school-based health centers are in poor neighborhoods.

“This was population control on blacks and Latinos without our knowledge,” she said.

The Nanny State has been sending some rather mixed messages lately.  Those behind this project would vigorously dispute that handing out a ton of free contraceptives has any negative impact on the behavior of high-school kids.  In fact, I would wager that they would become quite angry at the suggestion that officially endorsed safe-sex supplies, handed out by school authorities who claim to know better than the parents of these children, contribute to increased promiscuity.  And yet, the same Nanny State mindset holds the “gun culture” responsible for corrupting the behavior of citizens, and not just the young and impressionable.

We can’t do anything to encourage responsible behavior from high-school kids, but it will be a snap to convert millions of illegal aliens into responsible citizens.  The Left is proud of its ability to politically organize young people into a disciplined political army, working night and day to influence them with targeted media and celebrity appeals… but when it comes to discussion of something like teen promiscuity, the same kids become a permanently out-of-control mob, which we might only hope to protect from the worst consequences of its anarchic behavior.

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