After the Post reported that some schools have been giving emergency contraception (i.e., the morning-after pill) to students in an unpublicized pilot program, Mayor Bloomberg just had to weigh in.
Bloomberg told reporters, "The good news is we’ve brought teenage pregnancy down by, I think, something like 25 percent over the last 10 years. The bad news is there’s still an awful lot of girls who get pregnant at a very early age." The Department of Health added, "In New York City, over 7,000 young women become pregnant by age 17 — 90% of which pregnancies are unplanned,. We are committed to trying new approaches, like this pilot program in place since January 2011, to improve a situation that can have lifelong consequences.”
While parents supposedly can opt out of the program, Marie Elliott-Saile, "who works for the Staten Island-based group Priests for Life and whose 15-year-old daughter attends Port Richmond," told the Staten Island Advance that she never got the form to opt out. Elliott-Saile, who is also a church elder and whose husband is a pastor, added, "It’s like telling your kids it’s OK to go out there and have sex, and we have a cure for it. What about all the STDs that are out there?... It’s terrible. To give my daughter a Tylenol, the school nurse is going to call me and ask me. But then they’re going to give my daughter that pill?"
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn also supports the program, telling WCBS 2, "High school students are very sexually active and getting pregnant so we don’t have that luxury to think that they are too young to be engaged in conversations about contraception and sexual education." And Dr. Cora Breuner, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Adolescence, told NBC that it was "Totally awesome.. This is great because it improves access to contraception and promotes education on reproductive health."