Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Study: Girls As Young As 12 Understand Emergency Contraceptive Labeling As Well As Adults Do
Reuters: Teens understand emergency-contraception labels, by Amy Norton:
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Teenagers do just as well as adults when it comes to understanding the information on emergency-contraception labels, a new study suggests.
The findings, say researchers, argue for making emergency contraception available to minors over-the-counter, as it already is for adults.
The emergency contraceptive Plan B can prevent pregnancy if it is taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex. However, the sooner it is taken, the better - after the first 12 hours the risk of pregnancy increases by 50 percent. Since 2006, adults in the U.S. have been able to get the contraceptive without a prescription.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still requires minors to get a prescription, and this delay, critics say, lowers the chances of preventing pregnancy. They also charge that the regulation has more to do with politics than health.
See also: Judge Rules FDA Must Make Emergency Contraception Available to 17-Year-Olds