SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - The American Academy of Pediatrics releases a new publication recommending emergency contraception be available to teens. According to the AAP, adolescents are more likely to use emergency contraception if it's prescribed in advance.
Dr. Julia Brogli a pediatrician at Cottonwood Pediatrics agrees that taking a preemptive approach could reduce the number of teen pregnancies. She talks to her patients about sex, and its consequences, during their middle school checkup. She tells ABC 4 News in the U.S. approximately 43% of all teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19 have had sexual intercourse.
Dr. Brogli said, "People say 'oh it's not like that in Utah' but we're one of the leaders of teenage pregnancy in the country. So it stands to reason if we have more teenage pregnancy we have more teenage sex."
She agrees with the AAP that teens are more likely to use emergency contraception if it's prescribed in advance. "The younger teens who are sexually active ought to have access to it because they are the ones most at risk for not having some sort of birth control on hand," said Dr. Brogli.
One parent we spoke with said giving teens access to emergency contraception sends the wrong message.
Connie Stanley said, "I think girls should be taught what's appropriate and what's not and they shouldn't be needing emergency contraception."
Katie Stanley has a different take on things. "I don't want to disagree with my mom, but I think it's really important for people who are sexually abused or maybe in trouble."
In fact the AAP report says about 10% of sexual activity by teens in non-consensual.
Connie Stanley said, "I just get really nervous about giving the wrong impression to people that it's okay to be sexually active when their too young. Abstinence should be the way they are taught."
Dr. Brogli says even if you teach abstinence in your home you should talk to your teens about sex, because having the talk is easier than having a pregnant teen.