Emergency Contraception -- Risky Business for the Teen
WASHINGTON,May 1, 2013/Standard
Newswire/ -- The American College of Pediatricians continues to oppose
the over-the-counter distribution of "emergency contraceptive"
medication to children as recently mandated by the court. The potency of
these medications demands physician oversight, and equally important
their over-the-counter availability circumvents parental involvement and
may facilitate adolescent abuse. Health professionals need to encourage
good parent-child communication, teach minors the benefits of delaying
sexual activity until marriage, and teach them how to avoid situations
resulting in coerced sex and premature/promiscuous consensual sex.
Increased access to "emergency contraception" (EC) does not result in
lower pregnancy rates among adolescents and young adults, while it is
associated with an increased incidence of sexually transmitted
infections. Despite self-reports denying it, "ready access" to EC
appears to increase adolescent sexual activity. Increased sexual
activity is a known risk factor for depression, suicide, poor school
performance, more lifetime sexual partners, and an increased divorce
Additionally, since the human brain does not reach full maturity until
early adulthood, minors need the guidance of their parents in
decision-making on critical issues such as this.
The American College of Pediatricians is a national medical
association of licensed physicians and healthcare professionals who
specialize in the care of infants, children, and adolescents. The
mission of the College is to enable all children to reach their optimal
physical and emotional health and well-being. For more information about
the College, please visit our website www.Best4Children.org.