Should morning-after pill be available to teens? - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Should morning-after pill be available to teens?

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Some doctors say teenage girls should be able to buy the morning after pill, or "Plan B" at the drug store.

Plan B prevents pregnancy but does not cause abortion.

Even though the drug is FDA approved for over-the-counter use, a prescription is required for girls younger than 17.

"Most adolescent medicine providers know that when teens have healthy information they make healthier decisions," said Dr. Judith Burgis, who believes teens should have access to Plan B without a prescription.

Burgis, a Palmetto Health OB-GYN and USC school of medicine professor, said she fills out ten Plan B prescriptions a month to teenage girls.

She agrees with the American Academy of Pediatrics announcement last week that the drug should be more readily available to teens,  just in case they have unprotected sex.

"Research shows when teens have good and ready access to birth control they have less untoward outcome," Burgis said. "Their risk-taking behaviors go down."

But not all doctors or parents share Burgis' opinion. Some disagree for religious beliefs toward underage sex.

Latisha Henry-Pugh fears more teenage access to Plan B could mean more sexual promiscuity.

"Children using the pill as a form of birth control and think they could engage in unprotected sexual activity and just take a pill," she said.

"I think it's okay," said Paulette Rice, who has three kids. "I think they need to be educated about it. Know what they're getting into before they even think about the pill."

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