Obama Administration Abandons Fight on Plan B Age Restrictions

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Tue, June 11 2013 at 5:42 PM, Updated: Tue, June 11 2013 at 6:29 PM

It's a controversial issue that's stirred up a whole lot of debate.

"It's a little scary to think they can go get a contraception pill without talking to their parents but at the same time, it gives them another option if they do have a slip up," said mother Kristina Olson.

This week the Obama Administration decided to abandon the fight to keep age restrictions on Plan B -- a morning-after emergency contraceptive pill.

It's anticipated Plan B will soon be available to women and girls of any age, over the counter with no prescription.

But what does the high-dose of hormones mean for a young girl, a child still growing?

"In general, pregnancy is considered far more dangerous than taking birth control pills," said Dr. Ashley Peterson, who specializes in pediatrics and obstetrics.

She said already, girls as young as 12 take normal birth control pills to regulate acne and periods. According to Dr. Peterson, in comparison, the medical risk for a young girl taking the Plan B pill is minimal.

"Young women who get pregnant are considered a high risk pregnancy and are at much more risk of premature delivery and pregnancy complications," said Dr. Peterson.

The doctor said in the rare instance a young girl takes the Plan B pill repeatedly, there is some risk but...

"It would still be far more risky to have a pregnancy."

Meanwhile, mom Kristina Olson is emphasizing open communication with her young daughter, so in the future no topic is too taboo...including pregnancy and Plan B. 

If taken within 72 hours, Plan B can reduce the chance of pregnancy by 90%. It's not to be confused with abortion pills that terminate pregnancies.

The American College of Pediatricians have reportedly called over-the-counter distribution of the Plan B pill a risk, because it lowers parental involvement and could potentially encourage more sexual activity.

The Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve the application from Plan B's manufacturer to sell over the counter. It is expected to receive approval. At this point, it's unknown when exactly the Plan B pill will hit store shelves.

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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