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Uncertainty surrounds emergency contraceptives

Becky Yeh - California correspondent   ( Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A pro-life physician asserts that the way to reduce teen pregnancies is through parental involvement -- not emergency contraception.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has urged pediatricians to tell their young patients about emergency contraceptives -- such as the "morning-after pill" -- and to make "advance" prescriptions accessible for those contraceptives to underage girls. Federal law bans over-the-counter sale of birth control to underage girls, and it is uncertain if pediatricians will comply with the AAP's recommendation.

Dr. George Delgado is the medical director of Culture of Life Family Services in Southern California. He believes it is hard to determine whether pediatricians will make emergency contraceptives available to young girls due to the ambiguous nature of medical data on abortifacients and laws restricting their sale.


"The best way to get to a situation where we have fewer teen pregnancies is not to cut the parents out of the equation," he says. "Instead, we need to encourage parental participation and involvement in their children's' lives."

The most common choices of emergency contraceptives are high doses of birth-control pills such as Plan B, Plan B One-Step, or Next Choice, which are deemed by some pediatricians not to be abortifacients.

"With the original ones like Plan B and Next Choice, the data are inconclusive whether or not they would interfere with implantation and therefore be abortifacients, so I think that is inconclusive," Delgado tells OneNewsNow. "Right now, I don't think that one can say they are definitely not abortifacients."

In 2005, the FDA refused to approve over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pill, Plan B. Last year, the FDA reversed that decision and approved the sales with no age restrictions, but the Department of Health and Human Services overruled that decision.

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