Target: The American Academy of Pediatrics
Goal: Support the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation encouraging doctors to make emergency contraceptives more accessible to teenage girls.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently announced its support for doctors discussing the morning-after pill with teenagers, as well as writing emergency contraception prescriptions for girls who wish to have it, just in case. However, prescriptions will not be forced on anyone. Emergency contraception was made available to women age 18 and older over-the-counter in 2006, and available to women age 17 and older in 2009. Yet the truth remains that many teenage girls under age 17 are sexually active and many will benefit from having advance prescriptions in case of emergencies.
The academy decided to publicize this recommendation after new research supported the idea that young women were more likely to use emergency contraception (sold under the name Plan B, or Next Choice) after unprotected sex when they were provided with a prescription beforehand, in comparison to those without a prescription. The study also showed that young women with advance prescriptions were more likely to use the drug in a timely manner, versus those without prescriptions who must undergo the typically costly and time-consuming process of visiting a doctor.
With the use of emergency contraceptives, time is of the essence. The drug must be taken up to five days after unprotected sex in order for it to be effective. The morning-after pill is not intended to be used as a recurring contraception method, and does not protect individuals from sexually transmitted diseases. Thus, experts always recommend condoms as the best contraception method. However, in the event of contraception failure or sexual assault the morning-after pill is suggested to prevent unplanned pregnancies.
Many fear advance prescriptions condone sexual activity amongst teens. However research shows the opposite to be true; according to a study done in 2006, most of the young women with emergency contraception readily available did not use it. By recommending doctors discuss the morning-after pill with teenage girls, and even prescribe emergency contraception in advance to girls who wish to have it, the academy hopes to reduce the amount of unplanned pregnancies. Sign the petition to commend the Academy for its noble efforts.
Dear American Academy of Pediatrics,
I would like to show my support for your recommendation encouraging doctors to make emergency contraceptives more accessible to teenage girls.
The academy’s suggestion asking doctors to discuss emergency contraception with teenage girls, as well as write advance prescriptions to girls who wish to have them, will help reduce unplanned pregnancies among young women. Emergency contraception is available to women age 17 and older over-the-counter. However, many girls under the age of 17 are sexually active and will benefit from having prescriptions in case of emergencies.
Time is of the essence with the use of emergency contraceptives; therefore, young women with prescriptions before they are needed are at an advantage to take the drug when it is most effective, within five days after unprotected sex.
I support the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation for doctors to discuss all contraception methods available to young women, as well as take preventative measures by writing advance prescriptions. Raising awareness about emergency contraception and making it more accessible to teenage girls will help reduce unplanned pregnancies.
[Your Name Here]
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