The medical journal Pediatrics published a study in April confirming that most American 17- to 19-year-olds are sexually active. According to the study, only 30% of slightly younger teens – 15- and 16-year-olds – are having sex. Those stats, a hard reality for parents, are entwined in ongoing current arguments.
Sad to say, The Deciders aren’t as invested in how much easier your life might be if you could pick up a pack of pills in the same aisle as tampons. A recent poll reveals that 2/3 of women age 18-44 are in favor of OTC birth control, and the the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is, too. But, this is America, and some voters are concerned about those 15-16-year-olds, preferring that they ‘just say no’ or get parents involved before a birth control puchase.
Women participating in the study said for them, easy access would be convenient, save time and money and prevent unintended pregnancies. They also noted that some women might choose a pill not suited for them.
Those arguments, and that study, didn’t touch on efforts to provide the so-called “morning after pill” over-the-counter,too. If taken soon enough after sex, “Plan B” can prevent pregnancy.There are voters and parents who wrongly beileve the medication stops a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. Dr. Petra M. Casey, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Mayo Clinic explained,“These medications are there to prevent or delay ovulation. They don’t act after fertilization.” That means that if the woman is already pregnant, the Plan B pill has no effect at all.
Easy access to “Plan B” is now trapped in judicial limbo. A judge had ordered the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to turn the “morning after pill” into an OTC med with no age restrictions as well as a cheaper generic version. The judge order that it be available to any female over the age of 15. Instead, the FDA says buyers will have to show ID at the register. Men of any age buying condoms, on the other hand, don’t have that hassle.
What happens next? Don’t know, but it feels like change is in the air.