On the heels of a gynecologist group’s recommendation to make birth control pills available over-the-counter, including potentially to teens, the American Academy of Pediatrics last week called for teenage girls to get a morning-after-pill prescription during their annual physical — just in case.
The morning-after pill is already available to girls 17 and older without a prescription as long as they show proof of their age to a pharmacist.
Doctors should also educate teens about how to use emergency contraception like Next Choice or Plan B, the pediatrics group recommended, which will increase the chances that girls will use it when needed. Teens should be told, for example, that the pills are most effective at preventing pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex but can be taken up to five days after intercourse.
Unfortunately, the biggest hurdle to implementing this new recommendation may not be the objections of parents, but the objections of pediatricians. “Some physicians refuse to provide emergency contraception to teenagers, regardless of the circumstance, and others may provide emergency contraception only if nonconsensual penetration has occurred,” wrote the guideline authors.
seter16 wrote: Finally some common sense. But they need real sex ed information too.