Report: Teen use of morning-after pill is climbing

FILE - In this May 2, 2013, file photo, pharmacist Simon Gorelikov holds a generic emergency contraceptive at the Health First Pharmacy in Boston.

NEW YORK (AP) — A new survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that more than 1 in 5 sexually active teen girls have used the morning-after pill. Ten years ago it was 1 in 12.

There had been restrictions on the purchase of the morning after pill, but now, all teens can buy it without a prescription.

The report shows little recent change in most other types of birth control used by sexually active teens. Almost all say they said they’ve used condoms at some point, and more than half have used the pill.

Bill Albert, the chief program officer for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, says the fact that more teen girls bought the morning-after pill after it became more accessible is a sign that “teens, like adults, often are not very good at contraception.” He says, “In the battle between sex and sex with contraception, sex often wins.”

The morning-after pill contains a higher dose of the female hormone progestin than is in regular birth control pills. It can cut the chances of pregnancy by nearly 90 percent if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.

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