Emergency contraception is safe and effective for teenage girls, and pediatricians should push for increased access to this type of birth control, regardless of age and insurance, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The organization issued a new policy statement on Monday.
“Emergency contraception should be available, and it should be available over the counter,” Dr. Cora Collette Breuner, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, told HuffPost. “Education should be provided in the pediatrician’s office …”
Currently, girls under the age 17 must get a prescription for emergency contraceptive pills.
Emergency contraception is the only contraceptive method that can help prevent pregnancy after intercourse, when taken within five days of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. FDA-approved formulas of the drug, often called the “morning after pill,” include Levonorgestrel, which goes by the brand names Plan B One-Step and Next Choice One Dose, and ulipristal acetate, brand name Ella.
Though the exact mechanisms differ, the pills work by preventing a woman’s body from releasing eggs. Other available forms of emergency contraception include certain combinations of hormonal birth control, although this is considered an “off-label use,” or implanting a copper IUD…