New York, where's the emergency contraception?

A public health defender says the city's teens have poor access to E.C.

By Tracy Clark-Flory
Published September 25, 2007 11:15PM (UTC)
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You might recall how in 2005, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg promised that Health and Hospitals Corp. facilities would provide the "morning-after pill" without a prescription. Two years later, public advocate Betsy Gotbaum decided it was time to check in on how that promise has played out. Not so well, according to her report.

Gotbaum surveyed 38 teen health clinics and 11 Department of Health and Mental Hygiene centers and found that more than 60 percent of the sites did not readily provide emergency contraception, reports the Associated Press. What's more, she found that only 27 percent of the DHMH clinics offered birth control prescriptions.

What does the HHC, which runs the clinics, have to say in response? The corporation says it will train additional staff members on how to respond to emergency contraception requests. However, the HHC denies any fault, claiming that Gotbaum confused "'teen' health clinics that provide basic pediatric care with adolescent health centers where reproductive and adolescent medicine is practiced," reports the AP.

Here's a question: Why shouldn't a health clinic that caters to teens in any capacity provide basic reproductive care?

Tracy Clark-Flory

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