Home / Spring 2014 / 2014-03-27 / Lack of age restriction sparks debate

Lack of age restriction sparks debate

Written by :  LaShawn Oglesby & Jessica Ingram

Pro

Selling the morning-after pill without age restrictions is a positive step for young ladies and teenagers who aren’t ready for motherhood but have had unprotected sex.

Regardless of the reason for unprotected sex, whether it is a broken condom, a lack of birth control or a sexual assault, this provides females a back-up plan without much hassle and without negative feelings of guilt or shame.

Some people will abuse this drug and use it as a birth control instead of for its intended purpose. However, potential abuse is never a reason to keep something from the public because there are people who need this pill and will use it correctly. If we had to restrict everything that was used inappropriately by a few bad apples, the public have access to almost nothing.

There are many over-the-counter products that cause harm and are not used properly. For instance, laxatives have no age restrictions, but they are abused by people, especially young girls, who want to lose weight. No one seems to want to make laxatives harder for the underage to access.

Emergency contraceptive pills pose no risk to the way girls’ bodies mature; there aren’t any known health risks if the pill is taken responsibly.

This decision shouldn’t be based on one’s beliefs. A personal opinion should not be imposed on others who may or may not share those same beliefs.

These pills can and will prevent some women from having to go through an abortion, which is normally accompanied by judgment, and any other situation that follows an unplanned pregnancy. Taking the morning-after pill is one responsible option for females who aren’t prepared to get pregnant, and the lack of age restriction on the pill makes this option available to all females who need it, young as well as old.

Con

Females of all ages can now legally purchase an already controversial medication.

The FDA recently approved the sale of a generic form of the morning-after pill, an emergency contraceptive, to consumers, regardless of their age. This[1]  pill shouldn’t be available without an age restriction because of impending effects it could have on young females.

 According to the National Library of Medicine’s website, there are currently no studies showing the pill’s long-term effects. Issues with this pill may arise in the future, as was the case with the medicine thalidomide, which was once used to treat morning sickness in pregnant women but was later seen to cause birth defects in children.

Younger girls may decide to use the morning-after pill simply because it is available on store shelves, as opposed to a birth-control pill that requires a prescription. Younger girls are also more likely to abuse the pill because of their low maturity level.

 Parents should be conscious of the medication their children are taking in case they ever need medical attention. Doctors need to know of any recently-ingested medication in order to properly treat the patient; parents may not be aware that their daughter is taking the morning-after pill if the medication can be purchased over the counter, without a prescription.

 Girls age 13 and 14 who are unfortunately participating in sexual activities can now easily buy the morning-after pill. They are probably unaware of the potentially harmful effects the pill will have on their under-developed bodies.

 The morning after pill shouldn’t be allowed on shelves without an age restriction; otherwise, the medication is too accessible to consumers, especially young girls.

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