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OB/GYNs Endorse Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pills
Date:11/21/2012

pression, experience domestic violence, and are less likely to obtain prenatal care or breast-feed. Also, short intervals between pregnancies have been linked to low birth weight babies and prematurity, which increase the chances of health and developmental problems for the child, the physicians' group said.

ACOG acknowledged that all drugs carry risks, and birth control pills are no exception. Use of the Pill has been linked to an increased risk of blood clots, but the physicians' group said the risk is "extremely low."

Dr. Jill Rabin is chief of ambulatory care, obstetrics and gynecology, head of urogynecology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. Responding to the ACOG recommendation, she said, "This isn't a new discussion, it's been in discussion for at least the last four years, and this isn't a committee opinion that they wrote lightly."

Noting that it's "not a black-and-white issue, obviously there are risks and benefits," Rabin said she supports the recommendation "because they (ACOG) looked at the literature very, very carefully. This is a spectrum of practitioners, academicians and they really weighed the data very carefully."

Addressing the prospect of younger girls buying over-the-counter birth control pills, Rabin said she hopes the ACOG recommendation doesn't lead to bypassing parent-child discussion.

She added, however, that "adolescents are adolescents. We want our children to be safe and we want them to not be pregnant and we want them to not contract a viral or bacterial illness. But the literature is that adolescents are sexually active -- a significant percentage of them are sexually active.

"We want our kids to come to us [as parents] regardless and hopefully they will," Rabin said. "It's better to open the discussion. We stress abstinence but we want to be realistic, too, we want to keep our kids safe and healthy. The fact is that an unwanted pregnancy in a 14-year-old girl is a dev
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