The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on Monday urged American pediatricians to provide prescriptions for post-intercourse contraception to underage patients, as well as making them aware of the ability to take medications to prevent pregnancy even after engaging in sex.

The AAP policy statement would enable girls to get “morning after” pills immediately with their prescriptions.  US policy does not allow girls under the age of 17 to buy the pills over-the-counter – the pills are available to women of age with proof of age.

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The pills work by preventing ovulation, not by preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg or otherwise causing the body to abort a growing embryo.

According to a Reuters report, a 2010 report on seven studies of emergency contraception concluded that teens were not more likely to engage in sexual activity or decrease their use of standard contraceptive devices if emergency contraception medications were made available to them.

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