Nightly News | September 26, 2012
>>> a controversy here in new york tonight over a pilot program which allows public high schools to give out a morning-after pill to students without telling their parents. here is nbc's katy tur.
>> reporter: when some students came back to school this fall, they were offered more than just math and history lessons.
>> if your birth control fails.
>> it is called plan b , an emergency birth control now available without parental consent to 12,000 female students between the ages of 14 and 17. city health official's newest tool to fight the teen pregnancy .
>> that is the only situation for my daughter, i don't think the school should have anything to do with it.
>> for kids who don't need it, they don't have to take it.
>> reporter: the new york city department of health says it is necessary to reach more kids and get them the health care that they need when they need it.
>> reporter: the commissioner at the department of health says this.
>> having it at school is critical, because it is time sensitive, and the quicker a student takes it after unprotected sex , the quicker it works.
>> reporter: the program started last year, to help health services to those who have little access to clinics, across the country, just 14 clinics are allowed to give out the birth control . teen rates are down significantly, 42% from their peak in 1990 , in new york , parents were given the choice to have their children opt out of plan b , but only about 2% did so.
>> new york city schools can't even give the child an aspirin without the parents' permission. why is it okay to give the child a hormonal cocktail without informed consent ? that is just absurd.
>> reporter: a complicated issue being addressed, now, a part of a lesson plan . kate tur, nbc news, new york .