Health

American Academy of Pediatrics Advocates Birth Control Pills for Younger Teens

| by Michael Allen

The American Academy of Pediatrics said in a statement on Monday that pediatricians should actively counsel teens about emergency contraception and even them with prescriptions or contraception ahead of time.

In their online statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics encouraged members to also support lifting the age restriction for contraceptives, reports the Washington Times.

Currently, girls 16 and younger need a prescription to obtain the morning-after pill.

Medications such as Plan B, Plan B One-Step and Next Choice are most effective in preventing pregnancy if taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex, even five days after sex.

Dr. Cora Collette Breuner, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics's Committee on Adolescence, said that the recommendation comes from research showing that teens will use the pills if they have them.

Bill Albert, of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, said in a statement that there's “no real evidence to suggest that making contraception, including EC, available to teens, or more readily available to teens, encourages them to begin having sex, have sex at a younger age, or have more sexual partners."

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The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also supports emergency contraception without a prescription.