Pediatricians Want to Give Girls Morning-After Pill Prescriptions 'Just in Case'
I saw this in The Stir - What are your thoughts on giving teens access to the Morning-After Pill?
There is no debating that teens today are exposed to much more then we ever were. The question is, however, shouldn't we impose some limits. Case in point: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that docs treating teens write just-in-case prescriptions for the morning-after pill. I am a pretty liberal parent, but I even think this crosses the line. Giving girls what essentially boils down to a "get out of pregnancy" free card will definitely send the wrong message.
Look, I have no delusions about teenage chastity. Some may sport those purity rings but I assume that most high school age, hormonal kids are having sex or, at the very least, trying to. That's one thing that hasn't changed since the days of Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Yes, there are many unwanted and unplanned pregnancies among that group and they have a right to decide what ultimately happens to their bodies.
“Studies have shown that adolescents are more likely to use emergency contraception if it has been prescribed in advance of need,” the AAP said in a policy statement. “Despite significant declines over the past two decades, the United States continues to have teen birth rates that are significantly higher than other industrialized nations." But giving out morning-after pill like condoms doesn't teach these teens to be more responsible.
At the risk of sounding like a lame health class video, sex is a very serious thing and kids should take it seriously. I can't help but fear that sexually active teens will become a little more careless knowing that can just pop one of these pills the next day without even having a discussion with a parent or doctor. That's not to say they shouldn't have access to the morning after pill. They should. But they also need to understand the consequences of having unprotected sex go well beyond pregnancy. A lot of kids feel they are invincible when it comes to their health but there are a host of nasty STDs they can fall victim to. Kids need to wake up to the realities and the risks of having unprotected sex. Scared straight, so to speak. Having that little pill in their back pocket any time they need it won't do that.
Do you think teens should get "just-in-case" morning after pills?