In an updated policy, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is recommending long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), such as hormonal implants, intrauterine devices (IUDs), Depo-Provera injections, and combined oral contraceptives for teenage girls.
“Contraception is a pillar in reducing adolescent pregnancy rates,” states the AAP policy, which cites the Institute of Medicine as recommending “contraception as an essential component of adolescent preventive care,” and the fact that Obamacare has allowed women to purchase contraception for free.
As Breitbart News reported in August of 2011, the Obama administration approved the recommendation from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that Obamacare would guarantee full health insurance coverage for birth control, including the “morning after” pill, which it did, beginning August 1, 2012.
“I want to thank the Institute of Medicine for providing this important report recommending additional preventive services for women’s health and well-being,” said former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius upon receipt of the IOM’s report. “This report is historic.”
Additionally, whenever possible, the AAP also wants to ensure that teen girls can receive contraception and “sexual health care” confidentially, which means without the knowledge of their parents.
“For states without specific laws, best practice guidelines, federal statutes, and federal case law may support minor confidentiality and consent,” AAP states.
The policy update also indicates that “although HIPAA allows parents access to a minor’s records as personal representatives, that access is denied when the minor is provided with confidentiality under state or other laws.”
AAP states its recommendation:
As an additional protection for minors’ confidentiality, HIPAA states that if there is no applicable state law about the rights of parents to access the protected health information of their children, pediatricians (or other licensed health professionals) may exercise their professional judgment to provide or deny parental access to the records.
The pediatricians’ organization suggests that teen girls be encouraged to involve their parents “or trusted adults as they are able.”
“I’m so happy about this,” said physician Ana Radovic, according to a report in National Catholic Register. Radovic, who runs a family-planning clinic for women and girls of ages 12 to 21 in Pittsburgh, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “This will give primary-care physicians and pediatricians the much needed information” that inserting an IUD “is a safe procedure, even for young girls who have never had intercourse.”
However, Dr. Donna Harrison, executive director of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) disagrees.
“First, pediatricians are not trained in inserting IUDs,” Harrison said. “The uterus in a child is much smaller than the uterus in a grown woman. So you have a fairly significant risk of perforating that uterus. And who is going to take care of that perforation? It will be the ob-gyns.”
“What about other, more significant complications, like infections or tubal-ovarian abscesses?” Harrison asked. “Or what if the IUD string gets lost? How is the pediatrician going to remove that IUD? So you have the AAP encouraging pediatricians to do a procedure for which they’re untrained to handle the kinds of complications that can and occasionally do happen.”
AAPLOG past President Dr. Mary Davenport expressed concerns that a young girl’s future fertility could be affected by premature sexual activity with an IUD as her only protection.
“If you get gonorrhea or chlamydia, it can turn a local infection in your cervix into an infection that permanently damages your fallopian tubes,” Davenport said, recalling the Dalkon Shield IUD debacle in the 1970s.
“Many young women lost their fertility, some had to have hysterectomies, and a few died,” she noted. “It was an extremely serious thing that happened. But we have a short memory.”
AAP, nevertheless, states LARCs have become a standard in medical care.
“To be fair, most teens who use IUDs will not have a perforation, expel the IUD or become pregnant,” said Dr. Karen Poehailos, a family physician in Charlottesville, Virginia. “However, the [AAP] is advocating procedures with risks and not with parental consent. What happens to the girls who have a problem and are afraid to tell their parents who don’t know they have IUDs in?”
Referring to the AAP policy as “irresponsible,” Harrison said the organization “went out of its way to emphasize that pediatricians should isolate this girl, this child, from the input of her parents in these really important health decisions.”
Ironically, Harrison observed that studies show parental involvement decreases premature sexual activity in teens.
Dr. Dem Trumbell, president of the American College of Pediatricians, a group that split off from the AAP in 2002 after the latter endorsed abortion and adoption of children by same-sex couples, said, “Given the life-altering consequences of early sexual activity, it is a travesty to ban a parent from such a discussion.”
Similarly, Father Shenan Bouquet, president of Human Life International, called AAP’s new policy “reckless.”
Bouquet said the policy is “only about money – specifically, it is [about] a formerly reputable medical academy shilling for the profiteers of the contraceptive industry – for Planned Parenthood and for the pharmaceutical companies who profit when girls give themselves over for sex before they’re ready.”
“Parents must in the clearest terms demand that this propaganda not drive public policy at the local or national level, lest your girls be treated like animals who cannot be trusted to make good decisions about their sexuality and their health,” he said.
In an interview with Breitbart News, Dr. Paddy Jim Baggot, a Los Angeles area OB/GYN, and member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), said that the AAP policy ignores the fact that “the primary mechanism of action of IUDs is that they cause abortions.”
“IUDs are primarily abortifacients,” Baggot said. “They’re telling women they will prevent pregnancy but these women could really be having an abortion each month.”
Beyond that, Baggot is concerned about the underlying message the AAP policy is conveying to young girls.
“All women and men are searching for love,” he said. “Having these devices implanted will increase the amount of promiscuous sex and venereal disease, not committed love.”
“The whole concept is designed to reduce love to mere sex – that’s what’s being promoted,” Baggot added. “Both AAP and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) seem to act as if they’re tools of Planned Parenthood.”
“Look around our society today,” he continued. “Prior to 1960, there was no widespread availability of contraception. Since then, there was an explosion of teen pregnancy at the same time that there was an explosion of contraception as increasingly more people were able to prescribe them.”
“They’re trying to drown a fire with gasoline,” Baggot said, noting that, prior to 1960, blacks had high marriage stability, with teen pregnancy between only one and three percent.
“Sex has become more trivialized in our society,” Baggot stated. “People are not achieving true, lasting love relationships by vastly increasing the number of sex partners they have.”