In the United States, twenty six states allow minors, defined as children twelve and older, to consent to contraceptive services; Michigan allows some minors to consent; four states have no standing laws or policy (“An Overview” 1-2). The contraceptive access is also varied across the country. Some states require comprehensive sexual education and for teens to be able to access contraceptives. Some lean more towards abstinence only education in the hopes that teens will steer away from sexual activities. There are also scattered clinics where teens can receive birth control. For many parents, it conjures up images of teenage sex or pregnancy, which can cause them to ignore its other uses. However, birth control is a broad and misrepresented term.
Parents must be included in their children’s decisions because parents can influence their children in a significant way. For instance, parental consent laws reduce the minor abortion rate by 19 percent (qtd. in Davis). “A 2008 study done by Michael J. New, Ph.D. shows that parental involvement laws reduce the abortion rate among 17 years old by 18.3 percent, among 16 years old by 14.3 percent, and among 15 years old by 8.6 percent” (qtd. in Davis). These statistics show that the states that require parental involvement laws the abortion rates decline greatly. Sometimes, teens want to have an abortion because they are afraid of their parents. However, if the law requires minors to inform their parents about their pregnancy and the possibility of an abortion, their parents will be able to help them. If a teen does not inform her parents about her being pregnant, this teen will never know if her parents would have been supportive and guide her through this difficult process.
New Mexico is a state that encourages abstinence until marriage as the best way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies (“New Mexico”). When looking up Teen Pregnancy in New Mexico the first website that pops up is a website from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-health-topics/reproductive-health/states/nm.html. This website shows teen pregnancy rates in New Mexico from 1998 until 2011. The statistics found are answers to many questions about the sexual health of teens. This site has several links that lead to answers to many questions teens and parents may have about sexual health. Although many teens are sexually active they feel embarrassed looking up or asking questions about sex. This is an issue with no specific repair but a good way to assist the issue is to raise awareness. Many teens need to be taught the information to make an informed decision before becoming sexually active. In schools teens are taught to be abstinent until marriage as well as to use protection if they are going to be sexually active. Using protection is not stressed enough in schools and at home seeing the teen pregnancy rate in New Mexico being ranked number one in the fifty states. In 2011 New Mexico had 3,494 births to females under the age of 20 (The office of adolescent health). Raising awareness cannot just be a job for one source teens need to be told the same information from all the sources they come in contact with. Many teens need to be aware of the affects on their education and finances when becoming pregnant. Teens that do become pregnant are scared and do not know the resources that are provided whether they decide to keep the baby or not. Many teens don’t know that there are many contraceptives that you do not have to have a parents consent to buy or be prescribed. Condoms are
Studies show that the national average for an adolescent’s first sexual intercourse encounter is seventeen years old. Despite this number being very close to the average age in other industrialized countries, the United States holds a higher percentage of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease (STD) contraction than those countries (Harper et al, 2010, p. 125). It’s becoming evident that while a majority of the nation’s youth is sexually active, they are not doing so with the appropriate knowledge to keep themselves and others healthy.
In the United States, twenty six states allow minors, defined as children twelve and older, to consent to contraceptive services; Michigan allows some minors, such as those who are married or have previously been pregnant, to consent; four states have no standing laws or policy (“An Overview” 1-2). The contraceptive access also varies across the country. Some states require comprehensive sexual education and for teens to be able to access contraceptives. Some lean more towards abstinence only education in the hopes teens will steer away from sexual activities. There are also scattered clinics where teens can receive birth control. For many parents, this term conjures up images of teenage sex or pregnancy, which can cause them to ignore its
There is presently much controversy regarding teen pregnancy, considering that many countries in the developed world experience a rise in adolescent pregnancies in spite of the fact that effective programs are installed in these areas. Teen pregnancy has been a major issue in Los Angeles in the recent years, but the fact that state authorities have been actively involved in combating the problem has generated positive results. It is probable that the struggle for abstinence and the practice of safe sex have become less important for high school students in Los Angeles in the last few years, taking into account that teen pregnancy rates have gone up significantly.
Although society is progressing in the direction of equal rights for adolescents, this change is not occurring as rapidly as it should. With state governments deeming all adolescents capable of making medical decisions without parental consent, and studies
The constant pressure that the Texas government apply on the teenage population about sex before marriage makes them think that their only solution when a teenage girl gets pregnant is abortion. Abortion is legal and accessible in Texas, and the majority of Texas metropolitan areas have abortion clinics. This kind of education would work better if the state chooses to teach about contraception methods, and the importance of abstinence. The only proven method for reducing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, the studies say, is to combine the abstinence message with one that teaches young people how to protect themselves against pregnancy and disease . However, the state opposes to teach about contraception because they do not want to give the impression that the state supports premarital sex. This conclusion from the Texas government is completely awful, because if the state teaches the teenage population about the importance and usage of contraception methods many teenage pregnancies could be prevented. Contraception can be extremely effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies when it is used consistently and correctly. Abstinence only is not a realistic approach for everyone, because what about those teenagers that have been sexually assaulted
Unfortunately, many young people face barriers preventing them from accessing recommended and necessary sexual health services. Stigma, discrimination, lack of knowledge, cost, transportation, and perceived lack of confidentiality all pose substantial obstacles to the services capable of providing the healthcare and education needed to help prevent STIs and other issues such as unwanted pregnancies. This paper aims to investigate a current piece of legislation addressing this issue, the Youth Access to Sexual Health Services Act (YASHSA) of 2016 (H.R. 4475, S. 3360, 2016). In 2016 Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12) introduced this bill and if enacted, the YASHSA would provide grants to specific qualifying entities to increase and improve access and pathways for marginalized youth to obtain their sexual and reproductive health care services.
The opponents of birth control to teens overlook the fact that providing birth control to teenage girls would make sex much safer. Certainly, the unsteady rate of teenage pregnancies would decrease. In previous times, girls between the ages of 16-17 would get pregnant unintentionally. However, in this era, 13 and 14 year old girls are having babies-teens who are completely unprepared to give birth and raise a child. In these instances, if the child is not given up for adoption, the responsibility usually becomes that of the parents. In addition, when teenagers are protected from unwanted pregnancies the number of teen abortions taking place each year could be reduced significantly. According to Guttmacher.org, some states in the U.S have reported that 50 percent of pregnant teens receive an abortion. Not only is this a costly procedure, but it is also
The article “Delaying Parenthood”, BY the Baltimore Sun, illustrates the effectiveness OF implementing improved contraceptive access on Baltimore. The city, which experienced an outbreak OF teenage pregnancy, took action and cut their teenage pregnancy rates BY more than a third. OFficials implemented more informative sex education, but most importantly, teenagers received greater access to long-term, reversible contraceptives like IUDs. The goal OF the initiative revolves around the troubling facts that children born to teenagers are more likely to grow up disadvantaged in terms OF financial status, graduation rates, and possibility OF coming into contact with the law. Health OFficials began working with the schools and Planned Parenthood to demonstrate to students the severity OF their actions and the access they have to contraceptives.
Citizens who support adolescents having access to Plan B know that they are most likely engaging in sexual activity anyway, therefore protection against pregnancy is in high demand. However just like in court there are two sides to every argument, there are also citizens who feel as though allowing teens to obtain contraception not only encourages sexual behavior but condones it will have no risk. There has been a recurring dispute between the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services to lift the restriction of emergency contraception. Ned Milenkovich, the author of an article entitled “Emergency Contraceptive’s Curious Path to OTC Status” has given readers and insight as to what is taking place in court. Milenkovich states, “ Judge Korman had overturned the
Just imagine a 17 year old girl sitting on her bathroom floor. She is staring at this plastic stick that is now going to determine her choices for the rest of her life. The little plus sign causes her stomach to tense up and her throat to choke up. Who will help her? Who will pay for the food her and her baby need? Who is the father? Will she finish high-school and go to college? How will her parents react? This young girl has a choice that will have major impact on her life no matter what she decides. What if she was able to decide when and how she wanted these decisions/questions to come up? That young girl isn’t the only girl thinking about this choice; actually thousands of girls are. The United States has the highest teenage pregnancy rate among developed countries. 800,000 of unintended pregnancies a year with 400,000 live births (Yang). Within the years 2006 and 2007 the birth rate for adolescents aged 15-19 increased by 4%. Luckily within the last 10 years recent policy changes have decreased these shocking rates. These policy changes include the defunding of abstinence-only education programs and the availability of over the counter emergency contraception to women of all ages. The most recent policy change was Obama’s new Title X rule. This new rule refuses the states from withholding Title X federal family planning money from patients that include political and religious reasons. In summary, it means that states
A topic in American society that has proved to be an ongoing, and growing issue is that none other than teen pregnancy. In recent years, teen pregnancy rates have been increasing, which ultimately led to the topics increase of public and media attention. In American society teen pregnancy is often associated with negligence, as well as being irresponsible. In American society sex education for children is underdeveloped and instead society tends to use fear and shame to highlight/combat the dangers of unsafe or underage sex. American society uses fear to instill the idea that if you become pregnant as a teenager you are a burden to society. Along with fear society loves to shame its young women who have unfortunately stumbled upon the
In fact, most teenagers do turn to their parents for guidance. But the government cannot mandate healthy family communication where it does not already exist. Laws that restrict minor’s access to abortion by mandating parental involvement actually harm teens and families they mean to protect, by increasing illegal and self-induced abortions, family violence, suicide, later abortions, and the teenage birthrate. The real agenda behind laws enabling parents to veto their daughter’s abortion decisions by requiring parental consent or notification is to deprive your women access to abortion. Opponents of choice are seeking to use the issue of parental consent to paint the pro-choice position as extremist and anti-family. The true pro-family position is the pro-choice position.