Parents concerned over Morning-After Pill being available to all

Posted at: 04/05/2013 4:40 PM
Updated at: 04/05/2013 5:25 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion

Very soon the Morning-After Pill will be as easy to get as Tylenol. The scary part for most parents is the pill can end up in the hands of children as young as 11. Those parents also fear a new ruling will lead to more teenage six.  

A federal judge says the age restriction for emergency contraceptive must end within 30 days. Right now, girls 16-years-old and under must have a prescription, but they won't need one in a month. The ruling could allow Plan B One-Step to move out from the pharmacy onto store counters.

Out of all the parents News10NBC spoke with Friday, we did not find one that was okay with the ruling. A local medical expert says parents should be happy about this. She says the risk of pregnancy far outweighs the risk or harm of any emergency contraception.

Friday's ruling is not sitting well with some local parents. They say it sends the wrong message and will encourage teenage sex.

Kenyatte Collier, concerned parent, said, “There's already kids having sex and they think that it's okay because we're advertising condoms and safe sex.”

Lauren Krebbek, concerned parent, said, “It's an option now and now they don't have to worry about it. Now they can not have sex safely and get STDs. Come on, really?”

Daniel Williams, concerned parent, said, “It's like having candy in a candy store. It's there. It's readily available. Why not do it? Everyone else is doing it, I might as well do it because I can.”

University of Rochester Pediatrics Professor Taylor Starr disagrees.

Taylor Starr said, “This is a huge step forward. Finally. We're very excited for all providers who take care of adolescents.”

Starr says myths about the Morning-After Pill are what's causing parents to worry. She says people believe the pill causes abortion, when actually it prevents pregnancy. Many people think it's not safe and there are side effects that might lead to long term damage to your body. Starr says that too is not true. And the biggest myth is the pill will make people have more sex.

Starr said. “Wee don't have any evidence in the literature and the studies to say that having emergency contraceptives available increases teenagers having sex. We do know that teenage pregnancy in this country is that of third world countries. From what we know teenagers are already having sex and many of these teenagers don't intend to get pregnant, they don't want to get pregnant. So we need to help them have things available to help them decrease teen pregnancy and teen birth rates.”

The ruling is in response to a lawsuit filed by reproductive-rights organizations. The FDA is not commenting on the new ruling but it was given thirty days to comply. The Justice Department said it will act promptly in deciding whether to appeal the decision.

The Diocese of Rochester says it stands in line with a statement issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “The court has acted irresponsibly by making this powerful drug available without a prescription to minor children. The drug will make young girls more vulnerable to predators and the ruling undermines parents' ability to protect their daughters from such exploitation.”

For more information about the pill and if you want advice to help start a conversation, below are some helpful links.