The New York City Department of Education has a program in place that has handed out tens of thousands of doses of Plan B to schoolchildren without parental consent, a new report from Libs of TikTok highlights.
The program, Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Health or “CATCH,” was quietly launched in 2011 as a pilot program in thirteen city schools serving grades 9-12.
As the New York Post reported in 2012, during that first year, 567 students received Plan B and 580 students received Reclipsen birth-control pills. Condoms and pregnancy tests were also made available. This was according to the Department of Education.
The city did not, however, neglected to mention 40 “school-based health centers” that were also handing out contraceptives to students.
Between 2011-2012, these health centers passed out 12,721 does of Plan B to students, an increase from just 5,039 between 2009-10, according to a Freedom of Information Law request.
“Besides ‘emergency contraception,’ about 40 school-based clinics have dispensed prescriptions for birth-control pills, intrauterine devices (IUDs), hormone-delivering injections, and Patch and NuvaRing — covering a total 93,569 monthly cycles through June 2012,” the report stated.
“Handouts of birth-control packets rose from 6,027 in 2009-10 to 10,462 last year. Depo-Provera injections rose from 1,213 to 2,117. Staffers also insert plastic IUDs in the uterus, where they can remain for years.”
Libs of TikTok reached out to the NYC Department of Education to find out how many students have been given birth control, Plan B, and the “abortion pill” drug protocol, mifepristone and misoprostol.
They’ve yet to receive a response.
However, the outlet notes that “if the numbers from the pilot remained consistent we are looking at well over 15,000 students receiving Plan B, and over 16,000 receiving birth control pills without parental notification.”
According to a flyer obtained by Libs of TikTok and text messages she initiated with someone working for the program while posing as a pregnant student, the services provided to students through the CATCH program are completely confidential, and the “pregnant student” was reassured her parents would not find out that she was getting help to “get rid” of her pregnancy.
Polling from the time that the program was launched strongly indicates that a majority of parents oppose such a program, and yet according to health officials, between just 1-2% of parents choose to opt-out.
This could be due to the fact that parents don’t know they have to opt out.
“According to the extremely limited information available online, parents have the option to opt-out their children from the CATCH program but it’s not clear if parents are even aware this program exists,” Libs of TikTok notes. “You can find limited information about the program on the Department of Education’s website and there is no mention of it on the city’s Department of Health website.”
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