I have to disagree as both a physician and father with Dr. Margaret Moon's opinion lambasting the ruling by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that prohibits young teens from acquiring the Plan B pill without a prescription.
From a physician's point of view, the article intersperses all kinds of consequences from unprotected sexual activity, including HIV infection, with the discussion on Plan B. Plan B does absolutely nothing for the dangers of unprotected sex, and, in fact, I would worry that taking away the fear of pregnancy from young teens may actually encourage more sexual activity — some of which will be unprotected — and potentially increases the incidence of sexually transmitted infections.
As a father, I feel anything that stimulates discussion between parent and child about sex is a good thing. A young teenager obtaining Plan B without a prescription does not facilitate this discussion. I know many families where the desire for contraception initiated healthy conversation about sex. It is a given that some teens (and parents) will never discuss sex but that is not a reason to give up and run away from the problem.
The government got it right this time — this was a sound decision.
Dr. Clark Brill, ColumbiaCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun