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Report: City Downplaying Amount Of Birth Control Dispensed In Public Schools

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - In an effort to combat teen pregnancy, the Bloomberg administration has quietly pushed its birth control program in city schools, according to data obtained by the New York Post.

The use of the so-called "morning-after pill," which is sold as Plan B, has skyrocketed in public school health centers, according to the Post.

In September, the city announced it had begun handing out Plan B and other birth control in the nurses' officer of 13 high schools.

But according to the internal report, which the Post obtained the data through a Freedom of Information Law request, those numbers were much lower than the data shows.

As of September, the city said 567 girls had gotten Plan B, while the report show that 40 school health centers handed out more than 12,700 doses of the birth control.

Plan B can prevent a woman from becoming pregnant if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.

In addition to access to Plan B, students can also get a birth control drug injected once every three months.

This is in addition to access to condoms.

The CATCH program, which stands for Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Healthcare, became one of the first of its kind in the nation specifically designed to target the teen pregnancy epidemic by giving public school students access to birth control pills.

The birth control is available to students as young as 14 without parental notification, according to the Department of Education.

According to the Department of Health, more than 7,000 girls in New York City will become pregnant by age 17. Ninety percent of those pregnancies are unplanned and more than half are terminated.

Parents have the option to opt their children out of the program that provides the free emergency contraception.

What do you think of the CATCH program? Sound off in the comments section below...

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