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MI_PlanB Pic

My journalism students and I often have “Hot Topic” discussion about the stories making headlines in the news. One of the latest topics to hit the table centered around the recent judicial ruling that would allow emergency contraception, such as Plan B or the “morning after” pill, to be sold over-the-counter. Reports say the drug could be in stores as early as May.

According to an ABC News article, “The morning after pill is intended to be used when other contraception fails, such as when a condom breaks. Containing the synthetic hormone levonorgestrel, the pill works by preventing a fertilized egg from attaching itself to the uterine wall. But it must be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. It cannot terminate an existing pregnancy.”

Why is this a hot topic with youth? Because this ruling will allow sexually active teens of all ages access to the drug as long as they can afford it – no parental permission necessary.

As to be expected, the conversation amongst my passionate students became “charged” at times over this topic. As I refereed the discussion I couldn’t help but take note on some of the things they had to say.

* “I feel like some kids will abuse the pill.”

* “I think a lot of kids will use if for what it’s for.”

* “I think it will influence bad sexual practices.”

* “Pregnancies may go down, but more STDs might occur.”

* “I feel way more comfortable knowing it’s available, and knowing that I wouldn’t have to tell my parents.”

All of the points made by the students are valid. At this point in time how the emergency contraception will affect teens and adults in the near future is left to be seen.

Do you think selling emergency contraception over-the-counter will have a positive or negative effect? “Leave a comment” to share your thoughts.

Until next time…


Photo: AP