Children and adolescents should not have access to morning-after pill

LETTER — Posted Feb. 9, 2004

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Regarding "Doctors assess impact of morning-after pill going OTC" (Article, Jan. 19):

With respect to your article concerning the proposal for nonprescription availability of the "morning-after" pill, the physicians of the American College of Pediatricians respectfully disagree with those who support such a change.

We are especially concerned for the health and safety of children and adolescents who cannot even access simpler, less dangerous, drugs without prescription and, usually, parental consent.

We are concerned about the lifelong dangers of frequent use. We know that adolescent reasoning and judgment is not yet mature and that they need our support. We want to safeguard them because we strongly believe that there is potential for physical and emotional harm in the uncontrolled use of levonorgestrel.

We therefore recommend that no matter what else is decided, children and adolescents should be protected. For the sake of their health, they should not be permitted to access this drug as has been proposed. We must always ask, "What about the children? What is best for them?"

Joseph Zanga, MD, president, American College of Pediatricians, Greenville, N.C.

Editor's note: The American College of Pediatricians describes itself as "a national organization of licensed physicians and other health care professionals whose mission is to 'enable all children to reach their optimal physical and emotional health and well-being,' by valuing science above political correctness."

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2004/02/09/edlt0209.htm.

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