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Adolescents' access to morning-after pill

Modified: April 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm •  Published: April 17, 2013

In his ruling allowing for the sale of the morning-after pill without a prescription, U.S. District Judge Edward Korman cited the difficulty, under the current law, for those under 17 in obtaining the necessary prescription. I have to wonder if the judge was aware of a November 2012 policy statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics and its response to this situation. AAP is already encouraging its members to provide the morning-after pill to adolescents as young as age 13. In applying this policy, the pediatrician both alerts the adolescent to the availability of these pills and provides her with them, all of which occurs unbeknown to the adolescent's parents.

Additionally, if desired by the adolescent, the pediatrician provides the prescription in an “advance provision” form — before sexual intercourse has occurred. Quite simply, the adolescent places a phone call to the pediatrician; the pediatrician orders the prescription; the adolescent goes to the nearest pharmacy and she leaves with her pills. Of course, if Korman's ruling isn't over-turned, the pediatrician's involvement is eliminated altogether.

Not too many years ago, the pediatric care community worked in unison to effectively speak out against the harmful effects of smoking. Is it too much to ask that they put forth the same unified effort in announcing that adolescent sexual activity, morality viewpoints aside, is simply a “bad health” decision?

Philip Creider, Broken Arrow


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