A survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more teenage girls are using the morning after pill. The report indicates about 1 in 5 teens girls have used the morning after pill, when ten years ago it was 1 in 12. Dr. Valerie Williams, Assistant professor in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at LSU Health, says more teens are taking the pill now because it’s easier to get over the counter.
"In the past, having the requirement of requiring a prescription presented many barriers to teens. It would require them to have to see a physician and often times through their parents insurance."
Williams hopes easier access to the morning after pill will lead to a drop in teen birth rates because 80% of teenage pregnancies are unplanned. She says unfortunately, Louisiana is above the national average for teen pregnancy rates.
"We have, while the teen pregnancy rate in this country has declined since the mid 1990's, it's still exceptionally high compared to other countries."
Williams says there are both negatives and positives to this trend. She says it's great for young women to have an emergency option but it shouldn't be used as a primary form of contraception.
"There are many other highly effective forms out there so I'd love to see that same increase in access to other forms so they don't have to necessary rely on emergency contraceptives."