Pediatrics Group Wants Teen Contraception Access
Special Report - July 12, 2005
On July 5, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued an updated policy on teen pregnancy prevention that supports the mixed message of comprehensive sex education programs and recommends that all adolescents have access to contraception. The policy is included in a report on teen sexual activity and pregnancy published in the July issue of the AAP’s journal, Pediatrics. The report suggests that sex education programs, which combine the abstinence message with information about and access to contraception, work best. It states, “Most successful prevention programs include multiple and varied approaches to the problem and include abstinence promotion and contraception information, contraceptive availability, sexuality education, school completion strategies and job training.” Although the updated policy does recommend that pediatricians “encourage adolescents to postpone early sexual activity,” it also urges AAP members to “help ensure that all adolescents have knowledge of and access to contraception, including barrier methods and emergency contraception supplies.” In addition, the revised policy encourages pediatricians to discuss abortion, along with other options, with their pregnant adolescent patients.
Pro-family advocates criticized the AAP’s updated policy as politically motivated and inappropriate. “These new recommendations reflect the increased political involvements of medical associations,” said Dr. Janice Crouse, senior fellow of Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute. “It is sad to see professional organizations captured by special interests in this way, and it is a disservice to the public and to those pediatricians who pay membership fees.” Linda Klepaki, a sexual health analyst at Focus on the Family, said the AAP report undermines parental rights. “This report is a wake-up call for parents. They absolutely must be on guard against this insidious ‘abstinence-plus education,’ both in schools and now in doctor’s offices.”
Copyright © 2005. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.