Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Some doctors are calling for quicker access to the morning-after pill, specifically for kids younger than 17.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says pediatricians should consider writing “just in case” prescriptions for the morning-after pill for teens 16 years of age and younger.
As of right now, emergency contraception is only available over-the-counter to women 17 years of age and older.
One mom NewsChannel 9 spoke with says she’s not completely sold on the idea.
“I guess it’s okay as a precautionary measure, but it kind of in a way sends the wrong signal to some people, you know, oh it’s okay because there’s a morning after pill,” said Alicia Makoske.
Planned Parenthood says it’s quite the opposite.
“Studies have shown that use of emergency contraception does not increase adolescent sexual behavior," said Betty DeFazio with Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region.
Rather, DeFazio said it helps teens make responsible decisions, decisions that have to be made quickly.
“Emergency contraception acts by inhibiting ovulation and that's the mechanism by which it inhibits pregnancy, so it's actually best if it's taken within 24 hours after unprotected sex,” said Dr. Jennifer Christner.
Golisano Children’s Hospital Associate Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Christner – and a member of the AAP – understands the idea raises plenty of moral and ethical questions.
However, she says, “In general, we have to understand that the unintended pregnancy rate is about 80 percent, so this is a way to advocate for our teenagers to prevent pregnancy.”
Still, she believes open dialogue between parents and their kids goes a long way, which is why Makoske and her daughter have had “the talk.”
“I don’t want to get pregnant or anything like that. That’s the reason I’ve been listening,” said 15-year-old Heather Micglire.
Just a few days ago, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists called for the birth control pill to be available to all women without a prescription.