No matter who she talks to--parents, teachers, doctors--they all seem to think that birth control will make her life better:
Pediatricians should actively counsel teens about “emergency contraception” and even provide them with prescriptions or products ahead of time, to ensure they have the pills if they need them, the American Academy of Pediatrics says in a policy statement released online Monday.
AAP members also are urged to advocate lifting the age restriction for these products. Currently, girls 16 and younger need a prescription to obtain the “morning-after pill,” as these products are sometimes called.
Products such as Plan B, Plan B One-Step and Next Choice are most effective in preventing pregnancy if taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex, but they can work even if taken five days later.
Several of the AAP’s policy positions were stated “softly” in its 2005 emergency contraception policy, said Dr. Cora Collette Breuner, a member of the trade group’s Committee on Adolescence.
The new language is stronger, she said, because it went through more than 15 AAP committees — including those on safety and child abuse — for more than a year. The result is a “well-thought-through, researched and supported document,” said Dr. Breuner, who is an attending physician at Seattle Children's Hospital and professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
There are so many questions on each girl's mind, and it's increasingly difficult for her to find the answers she needs:
- Who will help her live a chaste life with integrity and confidence?
- Who will help her to get the boys to stop pressuring her for sex?
- Who will explain to her that intimacy should be reserved for marriage?
- Who will tell her about what carcinogens do to young bodies, or how many times birth control devices fail to prevent pregnancy?
- Who will insist that the intricacies of sexual relationships will totally distract her from all the beautiful/maddening things that should be a part of junior/senior high?
- Who will explain the life-long complications of STD's and that these birth control pills won't guard against any of them?
- Who will tell her that she'll permanently bond with these boys physiologically (carrying their DNA for life) but after many sexual partners she'll find it increasingly hard to bond emotionally?
- Who will explain how hard it is to get to know a person when sexual intimacy preceeds a natural friendship?
- Who will tell her that sexual relationships short-circuit normal relationships and make it harder to see the red flags of dysfunction?
- Who will tell her that she's worth more than the one-dimensional thrill that hormonal boys want -- and how can she say it's wrong when every authority around them says, "Have Fun, Be Safe!"
God help us if we don't guide the children better than this!