Archive for Friday, February 1, 2013

Letter: Plan B

February 1, 2013


To the editor:

A recent “Double Take” column (Dec. 10, 2012) encouraged parents to make Plan B contraception easily accessible to teens. However, federal law supported by Kathleen Sebelius requires prescriptions for those under 17.

The column misinforms readers about Plan B and fails to describe the side effects leading the American College of Pediatricians to advocate against its unprescribed use by young teens. The column asserts that Plan B does not induce abortion but prevents fertilization. In fact, Plan B also works after an egg has been fertilized by preventing implantation, resulting in the death of the genetically unique human embryo.

Plan B contains a steroid and a dose of synthetic hormone up to 15 times higher than oral contraceptives. Adverse side effects may include heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, allergic reactions, interactions with other drugs, including alcohol and nicotine, and possible dangerous complications with ectopic pregnancies. Long-term risks for cervical and breast cancer are yet unknown, thus the requirement of close supervision by a physician.

The columnists proclaim, “Doctors are obligated to present patients with the information required to make educated decisions about their health. That includes educating young women about emergency contraception.” Yet they themselves provide incomplete and misleading information and fail to alert readers to potential side effects and reasons for the prescription law. They suggest a way to get around the law and commend parents “who keep Plan B in their home with a no-questions-asked policy.” By providing only information which supports their opinions, they potentially lead their readers to make harmful decisions.


mom_of_three 4 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, your letter isn't misleading AT ALL.
The doctor MENTIONED he knew parents who kept it in their home for emergencies, and some were pro-life. The article, as I read it, was recommending that teens have a relationship with their doctor to have a prescription ready if it is needed. The article stated that if a teen has sex on a saturday and has to wait to see her doctor, it could be monday or after the 72 hour window (which you also didn't mention).
The article was highly advocating that teens, their parents and their doctors have a conversation. And since it wasn't a commercial, it wasn't going to mention all the side effects, but merely that the American College of Pediatricians is recommending that perhaps the prescription is needed to prevent pregnancy in emergency cases.

Brian Laird 4 years, 11 months ago

One also has to note that the "American College of Pediatricians" (ACP) is not the mainstream medical association associated with pediatrics, that would be the American Academy of Pediatricians. The ACP is more or less a recently founded front organization for groups pushing a socially conservative agenda - abstinence based education, anti-abortion and anti gay rights.

akt2 4 years, 11 months ago

Birth control would be a better choice than Plan B. But Plan B is better than teen pregnancy. While you are researching the adverse side effects and long term risks of Plan B, why don't you research the same for teen pregnancy and infants born to teens.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

Plan B is OTC in Britain, Canada and Australia. If the "Christianists" in the US had their way, it would be outlawed and treated like heroin.

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