Currently Teenagers are trying to grow up too quickly. They want to be just like the TV characters they idolize and will change themselves to do so. There are shows on TV like “16 and pregnant” that basically insinuate; if you have sex and get pregnant then you will get paid to be on television. Most teens do not go to their parents for birth control because they are afraid. In general teenagers do not want their parents knowing they are having sex. Having access to birth control, with or without the parents permission, can be a touchy subject. With this point, getting birth control without parental consent is a debatable topic. In my opinion I think you shouldn’t be able to get birth control, unless you have your parent or legal guardian there.
In the United States, each state varies whether or not minors may get contraceptive prescriptions from a health care professional. “Twenty-one states explicitly allow all minors to consent to contraceptive services without parental permission.” (Minors Access to Contraceptive Services) In Arizona currently, the law states that there are no restrictions on minors, on whether or not a parent has to be involved with contraceptive use.
Planned Parenthood is an agency that protects your identity. Some good things about Planned Parenthood are that, you do not have to have health insurance to be treated. By law they are not allowed to give out names, or the reason you were seen to anyone. That is why most people go to Planned Parenthood. One down side is that it can be a little pricier because most patients do not have health insurance. Another would be that they don’t necessarily care which type of birth control you are getting because they are getting paid regardless, if it makes you sick or not.
There are many different methods of birth control. The most obvious is abstinence; this protects against all STD’s and assures you that you will not get pregnant. The birth control shot otherwise known as (Depo-Provera) is an injection of a hormone that prevents pregnancy. Each shot prevents pregnancy for three months. The shot can be taken in the butt, arm or thigh (Birth control methods). Of course there are plenty more methods but the most popular form of birth control would be the pill. It is an oral drug that must be taken by mouth once every day. Most people would argue that being able to buy birth control as a teen would be good because teen pregnancies would drop. However this does not guarantee teenage pregnancies will drop. If even one pill is forgotten or lost the effectiveness of the pills decrease immensely. This is why having a parent to maybe remind you might be a good thing. “Statistics show only 35% of teenagers use condoms even though they have access to them.” (Minors Access to Contraceptive Services)
The problem is that condoms can also be ineffective due to teens using them improperly or simply not using them at all. A secondary form is always a good extra measure in most cases. To prevent teen pregnancies and the spread of STD’s the practice of safe sex is a necessity. Condoms will protect you from STDs better than not using one at all. STDs affect more teens than teenage pregnancies. If safe sex is not practiced, certain forms of STD’s can later cause more severe problems like cancer or even HIV. The most common case from HPV is cervical cancer to girls (Cervical Cancer Soars in Young: Rise in Unprotected Sex Sees Cases Soar.) If young females had a parent there to recognize these problems with them these statistics may drop in not only pregnancies, but STDs and maybe cancer as well.
Yaz, is a birth control that is used by millions of women and is still on the market today. Yaz was linked to having terrible side effects. Some side effects included, blindness, strokes, and in some cases cancer (Michael D. Benson). This is just one of dozens of birth control brands that are out there. Having a parent there to know the facts about these things might be good so you don’t use the wrong kind and end up paying for it.
Getting birth control without your parents’ consent in my opinion should not be allowed. I can understand why people may not want to tell a parent but they do want to be involved. If your child is being responsible enough to go and get birth control then they might be responsible enough to use it. Often if not given the opportunity to make responsible choices, teens can take matters into their own hands and either do what they want, or make bad choices. The question is, what is the “right” answer? Parents and society struggle with this question every day. Although abstinence is the correct answer and easiest response, that doesn’t mean that this is the most realistic. Teens struggle with many pressures dealing with issues that make them grow up too soon. Many of these choices can affect their lives forever. Is education enough? Should parents make sure that they are a part of these life altering decisions or would they prefer that the decision be made for them by the states of federal government? You are officially an adult once you reach the age of 18; this means you can take care of yourself. I believe that you should have your parents consent for getting birth control until you are at least an adult.
“Birth control methods.” Planned Parenthood. 2012.<http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health- topics/birth-control-4211.htm>.
“Cervical Cancer Soars in Young: Rise in Unprotected Sex Sees Cases Soar.” Mail Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2012. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2057816/Cervical-cancer-soars-young-Rise-unprotected-sex-sees-cases-soar.html>.
“Minors Access to Contraceptive Services,” State Policies in Brief, AGI, Dec 1, 2005.
“Coping with Birth Control” by Michael D. Benson, M.D. (Rosen Publishing Group, 1998). Precise birth control information so teens can make intelligent decisions.