If there's news about emergency contraception, like the morning after pill, being distributed at some NYC schools, you can bet that Cardinal Timothy Dolan will weigh in! NYC's highest ranking Catholic wrote on his blog, "The public schools of the City of New York have announced that they are providing so-called “emergency contraception” and long-term contraceptive injections to high school students as young as 14 years old. This policy of dispensing of powerful medicines to young women — without their parents’ knowledge and consent — is tragic and misguided."
Dolan, who wrote the post with Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn, also referred to the news as "disturbing" and is very upset that parents can only opt out, versus opting in, especially since there's a "law requiring explicit consent from parents if a child wants to get a piercing or a tattoo. We now also have a law on the books banning minors from using tanning salons even if the parents consent, out of concern for possible long term health risks. And, for every other medical procedure, explicit, informed consent is required. But not when these powerful drugs - with their potentially serious side effects - are involved."
It has been shown by years of experience that contraceptives are not the solution to the problem of teen sexual activity. Studies show that increased availability of contraception fails to reduce rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion. New York City’s government already distributes tens of millions of free condoms, and contraceptives are readily available from other sources, yet rates of teen sexual activity and pregnancies continue to be unacceptably high, and our abortion rate is a national disgrace.
And Assemblyman Marcos Crespo (D-Bronx) wants the pilot program to end completely.
Mayor Bloomberg supports the initiative, pointing out that teen pregnancy is still an issue—the Health Department says that "In New York City, over 7,000 young women become pregnant by age 17 — 90% of which pregnancies are unplanned."