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Bianchini: Plan A before Plan B

BY FRANCESCA BIANCHINI | DECEMBER 03, 2012 6:30 AM

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In the words of the health-science teacher in the movie Mean Girls, “If you have sex, you will get pregnant and die.”

Well, unless you’re a character in Twilight whose hardest decision is whether you want to be with a vampire or werewolf, then the death part is highly unlikely.

However, the pregnancy part is pretty plausible.

In 2011, 329,797 babies were born to females between the ages of 15 and 19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In fact, in an effort to reduce teen birth rates, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently changed its policy statement to include that it “encourage[s] routine counseling and advance emergency-contraception prescription as one part of a public-health strategy.”

Kudos for having a backup plan, but what the academy should really do is endorse a higher stress on prevention and safe-sex plans before endorsing any kind of backup methods.

It’s basic health class 101.

If teenagers were better informed of which preventative matters to take, then emergency contraception wouldn’t need to play such a crucial role in the overall conversation.

Sure, it’s always nice to have a backup option, especially when emergency-contraception pills are estimated to be 75 to 90 percent effective at preventing pregnancy, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

But no one should ever go into a situation expecting to take Plan B — literally and figuratively. That’s just poor planning.

Not to mention that emergency contraception doesn’t protect against any STDs, as a condom does. So, you may dodge a bullet with the whole pregnancy thing, but there’s a plethora of other consequences that can come with being careless and depending on emergency contraception.

And call me old-fashioned, but the only thing my pediatrician ever encouraged me to take were my daily vitamins, and I was perfectly content with that.


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