A prominent physician is advocating for the laws of Antigua & Barbuda to be changed to allow children as young as 13 to be able to access birth control products over the counter.
Yesterday, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr Dane Abbott defended his stance by stating, “Just like a 13 year old can go in and pick up a condom to prevent pregnancy, they should be able to go in and pick up the morning-after pill, because that’s what it does, it prevents pregnancy.”
Dr Abbott said that medical practitioners in the US are currently lobbying for laws to be introduced that would make birth control more accessible and more affordable for women of any age.
He said as far as he is concerned there are no real side effects to taking the morning-after pill.
“The only side effects it has, it can delay your period or cause it to come early. It is not a dangerous drug to use. It is something that I think, a lot of doctors think, should be available over the counter,” Dr Abbott said.
His appeal came after the Head of the Antigua & Barbuda Pharmacy Council and Drug Information Division, Algernon Roberts, put local pharmacists on notice that they could get in trouble with the law for selling the morning-after pill and other forms of birth control to girls under the age of 16 years, which is the age of sexual consent in Antigua & Barbuda.
The morning-after pill/plan B is a type of emergency contraception. This birth control method can prevent pregnancy after a female engages in unprotected sex.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)