DECEMBER 14, 2011
The American College of Pediatricians applauds Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in her correct and courageous decision to retain the age restrictions on the emergency contraception pill, Plan B. Given the potential for misuse, overuse, and the significant side effects of this drug, these age limits are in the best interest of the adolescent and are supported by science.
In this nation, where we hold the health and care of children in such high regard, the over-the-counter sale of Plan B to unsupervised minors would have been an unmitigated medical and psychosocial disaster. Modern science has made clear for at least the past decade that the cognitive areas of the brain needed to make such major decisions do not mature until twenty to twenty-five years of age. That’s why parent and physician involvement is essential to achieve optimal medical decisions for teens. It is disturbing to see this significant science ignored by so many when it comes to adolescent health policymaking.
Thank you, Secretary Sebelius, for placing the well-being of children above the political agendas of others.