The contraceptive debate

Camyle Cryderman Managing Editor camyle.cryderman@apps.schoolcraft.edu

Camyle Cryderman
Managing Editor
camyle.cryderman@apps.schoolcraft.edu

Minors should have access to birth control without parental consent 

Many people believe that no matter what the age, a minor’s decisions should always need consent from an adult. Whether it be for the benefit of the minor or not, access to birth control is one of the decisions many feel strongly about. Although controversial, minors need to have unattested access to birth control without the consent of an adult for the benefit of the minor as well as society as a whole.

According to dosomething. org, by their senior year in high school, 62 percent of teens have engaged in sexual activity, and by the time they reach age 20, three in 10 girls get pregnant. If proper contraception is used, these unwanted pregnancies could be avoided; yet the main obstacle stopping this is accessibility.

The most reliable form of contraception is the birth control pill; yet, it is also one of the least accessible for teenagers to get on their own.

A recent study from The Journal of the American Medical Association discovered that 47 percent of sexually active teenage girls in the Wisconsin area would stop seeking all reproductive health care services if they had to talk to their parents about it first. This includes accessing contraception. Yet, of the same set of girls, 99 percent said they would continue to have sex according to the American Civil Liberties Union website.

Image from her campus.com Although controversial, minors should have access to birth control without parental consent.

Image from her campus.com
Although controversial, minors should have access to birth control
without parental consent.

Denying minors birth control does not stop them from having sex, it just increases un-safe sex. Minors need to be able to protect themselves, and allowing them unattested access to birth control is a way of doing so.

The age group most at risk for unplanned pregnancy, as well as least likely to use contraception while engaging in sexual activity, are girls aged 15 to 19 years old as stated by Guttmatcher Institute family planning website. If teen contraception use increases, unplanned teenage pregnancy will decrease. While allowing minors access to birth control without consent is not the only way to increase teen contraception use, it is one way that can help.

While many may argue that birth control pills are unnecessary when the male condom is readily available in drug stores, they are not taking into account reliability. The birth control pill is much more reliable than just a condom alone, and the more forms of birth control that are available for minors, the more consistent they will be in using them.

Since the birth control pill was legalized in 1960, teen pregnancy rates have decreased 64 percent as stated by the Center for Disease Control. This proves that as birth control becomes more available, teen pregnancy rates decrease. In order to keep proving this trend, birth control needs to continue becoming more readily available by allowing access without parental consent.

This solution is simple. By one action, the lives of countless teenagers could be improved and spared from unwanted pregnancies. Children would be less likely to be born into unfit families, and young people would be able to better themselves for the future. No logical negative outcomes could come from providing birth control to minors, while the positives are vast. By putting personal beliefs to the side, countless lives can be improved. Allowing minors access to birth control is not only the logical decision; it is also the moral