TODAY | April 06, 2013
>>> the so-called morning-after pill should be available for all women, regardless of age. right now, those under 17 need a doctor's order. there is some division in terms of this ruling. several groups including the american academy of pediatrics has long recommended no restriction here. we know at least one anti-abortion group is calling this reckless. what does this ruling really mean?
>> i don't think it's reckless. and the ruling really allows for a woman to take charge of her own sexuality. i think it 's wonderful that there's going to be this availability, because if something happens, a condom breaks or you forget your birth control pills or an accident occurs, the benefits outweigh the risks and this pill seems to be without many complications. so the availability, i think, is wonderful to have. and it's the patient's choice.
>> what about -- and there are plenty of people out there, even the obama administration has used this age of 11 to set the scene. imagine this 11-year-old girl. maybe this sends the wrong message of sex.
>> it doesn't send the wrong message about sex. it's the same thing as when they put the gardasil vks even out for hpv and some parents said it encourages girls to have sex. it doesn't. it decreases the chance of cancer. the young girl , potential of having a baby at 12, emergency contraception being available outweighs the risks.
>> it's 75% effective. it would not be used, most people would agree, as birth control . is there any concern for health risk? this is a concentrated dose of hormones especially for a young girl .
>> it's not a birth control method that you should be using routinely. and it doesn't prevent sexually transmitted diseases . clearly, the young girl needs to be educated as to what kind of birth control would work for her, not necessarily taking the morning-after pill as a continuous thing. if it's just once in a while for an emergency, i think it's great to be available. but they need to be educated about the other forms of birth control that are out there that they can use and they'll be safe.
>> how do you handle that education, not only with your young patients, but with their parents?
>> i think the parents have to be open. you have to know your children. there's a lot of education in the school. pediatricians as well as ob/gyns see young girls and have to talk to them about the risk of having sex , sexually transmitted diseases , getting pregnant and being responsible about birth control .
>> good to have you with us this morning. thank you for your insight.