National Pediatric Group Recommends Children Get Morning After Pill Before Sex

A national pediatric association is recommending that doctors prescribe women age 17 and younger the morning-after pill in advance of them actually needing it, under the assumption that they will be more likely to use the emergency contraceptive if they don’t have to make a doctor’s visit at the time.

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued the new policy statement Monday. According to a report by Reuters on the statement, which is published in the December issue of Pediatrics, the group believes that because federal law prevents over-the-counter sales of such contraception to those under age 18, the teens will be more likely prevent unwanted pregnancy if they already had the necessary prescription on hand.

The battle for over-the-counter availability for emergency contraceptives was in the spotlight last year as the Food and Drug Administration overturned a 2005 ruling that prevented teens from obtaining pills like Plan B without a prescription. The Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius though overruled the FDA’s decision maintaining the requirement for a prescription for minors.

Reuters reported former FDA assistant commissioner for woman’s health, Susan Wood, saying of AAP’s new policy that “it’s not often you see physician organizations saying that their patients are better off without the physician involvement.”

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