NEW YORK — The New York City Department of Education said Monday that it will make the morning-after pill available to high school girls at 13 public schools.
The department said girls as young as 14 will be able to get Plan B emergency contraception without parental consent. Parents have been notified about the program and how their daughters can opt out of it.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said she supports the program because high school students are sexually active and getting pregnant.
The city says about 7,000 girls get pregnant by the time they reach the age of 17. It says more than half choose to get an abortion. New York City schools already distribute free condoms to students.
Last week, the nation’s leading group of gynecologists said that while teenage girls may prefer the pill, doctors should be recommending IUDs or hormonal implants, long-lasting and more effective forms of birth control that the user does not have to remember every time.
The IUD and implants are safe and nearly 100 percent effective at preventing pregnancy and should be ‘‘first-line recommendations,’’ the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said in updating its guidance for teens.
Both types of contraception are more invasive than the morning-after pill, requiring a doctor to put them in place. That, and cost, are probably why the pill is still the most popular form of contraception in the United States.