Health Professionals React to Morning-After Pill Controversy

It’s no secret that the morning-after pill has been (and continues) sparking controversy among many health professionals, groups and organizations across the US in recent months. Here’s a little recap:

In February, the Obama administration revealed a new health care law that would require most employers to provide free coverage of birth control, which started a lot of buzz around the morning-after pill.  Used as an emergency contraceptive to help prevent pregnancy, the pill has seen a high increase usage rates, more than doubling over recent years, according to federal data released.

Last month, a federal judge ordered that the most common morning-after pill, Plan B-One Step, be made available over the counter for all ages, instead of requiring a prescription for girls 16 and younger.

Then, in early May, the Obama administration announced that pharmacies may now sell the emergency contraceptive Plan B over the counter to girls as young as 15 years old.

Most recently, a federal appeals court on Monday temporarily granted the Obama administration’s request for a stay of an order by Judge Edward R. Korman of Federal District Court that the pill be available without a prescription for everyone.

Photo of the morning after pill, Plan B.

Sparking discussion on SurroundHealth, is the controversy around the selling of Plan B to girls as young as 15.

Discussions in our community

Health professionals on SurroundHealth have been actively discussing this issue, sharing opinions, research, and new developments around the topic.  The member forum has brought up debates around potential misuse, responsibility, and safety (side effects).

Here ‘s an example of debate around misuse:

“I am not worried about misuse. I do think in general it’s better to plan AHEAD for sex than to worry after the fact, and I think we should encourage men and women to do so. I also am grateful we have an option for when we fail to plan ahead. I think it’s great for it to be as widely available as possible. My main concern is that people take it correctly to get the most protection from unwanted pregnancy.”

“…making the “morning-after” pills available to younger people, who aren’t yet able to think past their hormones to remember that indiscriminate sexual behavior exposes them to more than simply unwanted pregnancy, is irresponsible. They will just think, if they think, that they can take a pill the next day and everything will be OK, forgetting all about HIV and other STDs…which, by the way, are on the increase in the U.S. among teens.”

If you’d like to share your opinions on the topic or see what other health professionals are saying, join the discussion on SurroundHealth!

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