Mayor Michael Bloomberg has come out in support of a pilot program offering the morning-after pill and other contraceptives without parental consent in New York City schools.
On Monday Bloomberg said, "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 mayor's statement follows City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's defense of the program. "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," she told WCBS 2.
CBS reports more than 7,000 girls living in New York City will become pregnant by the age of 17.
The Department of Education said parents have been informed about the CATCH -- Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Health -- program with information on how girls can opt out of it.
Bloomberg is known for his staunch public health advocacy. In December, he issued a sharp criticism of the Obama administration for failing to legalize the morning-after pill, also known as Plan B, for over-the-counter sales to young teenage girls.
Following the Susan G. Komen Foundation's decision to stop funding for Planned Parenthood in February, the mayor pledged $250,000 of his own fortune to the health care non-profit.