Birth control over the counter over the top for some parents - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Birth control over the counter over the top for some parents

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What do you think of birth control pills being available over the counter?  Some parents are furious even at the thought of it.  On my Facebook page "Eloise" commented "No (birth control pills should not be over the counter) has the world gone crazy?" she asks.
Well, the largest group of OB/GYN doctors says "unintended pregnancies are a major problem" so 'the pill' should be offered over the counter.  "I have a 19-year-old daughter so I think that's great," says Barbara Lipschuntz.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says for 20-years now half of the country's pregnancies, every year, are unintended.  "It's been proven that providing contraception leads to less abortions.  So it just makes sense (for the pill to be over the counter)," says Houstonian Mark Counterman.

ACOG is saying a solution to unintended pregnancies is offering birth control pills over the counter.  "There are girls that are having sex and they are afraid to tell their parents and they don't know what to do.  So I think that's a good idea," adds Lipschuntz.
"It's a good idea in some respects but there are some concerns that we have," says Obstetrician and Gynecologist Dr. Amelie Chu at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital.  Dr. Chu says easy access to the pill would likely cause more women to use it.  However, she says that would mean one less opportunity for a medical examination and less of a doctor patient relationship.  "If they (patients) ultimately do have complications who's going to manage their care?  Who's going to troubleshoot problems for them if they have problems with the birth control pills?" asks Dr. Chu.  She says some of the potential problems include  blood clots, heart disease, hypertension and bleeding.
Dr. Chu says birth control pills are already available over the counter in some other countries including Mexico and there haven't been any real issues.  "The complication rates have been pretty low overall but even if complications are rare the risk does exist," adds Chu.
Right now making the pill available over the counter is just a suggestion.  Before birth control pills could become non-prescription it would have to be approved by the federal government and at this point it isn't even being considered.  I've watched a number of spirited conversations about this topic on-line.  Now I'm ready to have one about.  Please find me on Twitter @DamaliKeithFOX so we can chat about it.

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