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Birth Control and Contraceptives: Should Teenage Girls Need Parental Consent?

Birth Control and Contraceptives: Should Teenage Girls Need Parental Consent?

Should teenage girls between the ages of thirteen and eighteen be allowed to receive birth control and contraceptives without the consent of their parents? That is a question commonly asked and also extremely controversial. Currently teenage pregnancies are on the rise; therefore, birth control is often utilized and needed by the teenage population.  Without it pregnancy rates are high and it affects the lives of those who are the recipients of it.  There are a plethora of different forms of birth control and contraceptives that are able to work cohesively with different body types. For example there are methods such as the patch which is a sticker that releases hormones into the body that has to be changed every week for three weeks, the implanon: a rod like needle inserted in the arm to release hormones into the body which can stay in for up to two years, birth control pills: distributes hormones throughout the body which has to be taken at the same time every day for three weeks, then on the fourth week placebo pills to take the place of these pills so that the female can have her menstrual cycle, last but not least the male and female condoms which out of all contraceptives has two purposes, one to prevent pregnancy and two to prevent the transmission of STD’s and HIV from both participants (Community Healthcare Network). Teen girls between the ages of thirteen and eighteen should be able to receive birth control and contraceptives without the consent of their parents because of the lack of communication, confidentiality, and privacy.

One reason teenage girls should be allowed to receive birth control and contraceptives without the consent of their parents is because some child to parent relationships aren’t as strong as they need to be, and communication between both parties are not always existing. This makes it difficult for teens to discuss sex with their parents.  For example parents who work all of the time may not be able to part take in a serious conversation about sex and birth control with their daughter. Because parents lack the necessary communication skills with their child about topics such as sex, birth control and drugs they rely on their friends.  According to the University of Florida IFAS Extension Solutions for your life, it says “This is, the challenges of the adolescence derive from the fact that youth today are both in need of parenting that promotes their positive development.” With there being a lack of communication the females have to find other resources to provide them with information about sexually health. Many non-profit organizations such as Community HealthCare Network and Planned Parenthood are both positive ways for these youth to find out information and it allows them to decide what birth control method may be best for them.

In addition to the availability of parents, another reason the distribution of contraceptives to teenage girls without parental consent is important is because some parents refuse to talk to their child about birth control, this is considered to be an uncomfortable topic.  When talking to or asking an adult about sex and birth control options it tends not to be a judgment free zone (which is provided at clinics) but of harsh critique and embarrassing comments and questions such as, “We’ll talk about it later” or “Why do you want to know?” These statements can be awkward and unnecessary responses when one is inquiry advice about their personal life.  Also some parents have different views and opinions on the well-being of their child then that child might have of themselves. “Another reason is that parents think teens are more informed about sex than they actually are—and may even think that their teens know more about sex than they, as parents do” (Clanice Wilson).  This conflict of interest puts teenage females in danger if they are sexually active without the usage of birth control and  contraceptives, these dangers consist of getting pregnant and contracting an STD or HIV.

Another reason teenage girls should be allowed to receive birth control and contraceptives without the consent of their parents is because they may be dealing with internal issues that may require the usage of these contraceptives.  For example medical issues such as tumors in the uterus, situations such as this may need the hormones in birth control pills to regulate excessive bleeding.  Also other than being sexually active these resources even out the hormones in female bodies. Females should have more estrogen then testosterone so in the event they their level of testosterone is slight off and they grow a mustache or a beard or male like qualities, birth control can increase their femininity physically and internally. Student Health Center of NYU says “If you have had ovarian cysts, you might be given the pill to help keep new ones from forming. Your clinician might also prescribe the pill to help with symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as mood changes or migraine headaches.”

Opponents of this argument say teen girls between the ages of thirteen and eighteen should not receive birth control and contraceptives without the consent of their parents because a lot of teenagers are either immature or unable to make affective decisions or are impulsive reactors. Teens tend to make decisions and do things without completely thinking the situation through, they often gamble with their lives with the things they choose to do and exceed the limits in doing whatever it is. Today’s teenager lives in a world sandwiched between childhood and adulthood. Doug West suggests that “Bombarding teens on all sides are adult “forbidden fruit” temptations that are legally out of reach in terms of age, but considered, by many, to be normal “rights of passage” meant to be done “safely” and in ‘moderation.’” For example some teen girls are not responsible as far as doing household work or just simply listening and obeying the commands of their parents.  Another example of an impulsive reaction is some girls decide to dress inappropriately and seduce guys this often concludes with them turning to sex as a way of getting the attention from that guy they may like.  Also parents think that the teenage period is a time of rebellion and disappointment and they claim that they don’t won’t or aren’t ready for their child to make the same mistakes they once have. However, “When you consider that the teens years are a period of intense growth, not only physically but morally and intellectually, it’s understandable that it’s a time of confusion and upheaval. . .” (Kids Health from Nemours) And a lot of parents fail to realize that choices and mistakes are a part of life and contribute to the flourishing of teen age females.  The teenage era is a period where teens learn responsibility and how to make decisions.

In conclusion teen girls between the ages of thirteen and eighteen should be able to receive birth control and contraceptive without the consent of their parents because these things are a pivotal factor in preventing pregnancy and it empowers young females to be responsible and become educated about their sexual health. Also they should because some parents lack certain skills to influence their daughters otherwise, for example communication, confidentiality, and privacy. A lot of parents don’t have the time to talk about it, some females don’t trust their parents to keep those conversations between themselves, and some teens are even embarrassed to inform their parents about their health issues.

written by me 2012

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