Teen Pregnancy

teen pregancy

Would you put your teen daughter on birth control?  Are we na├»ve to think that our teen daughters won’t engage in sex?  Statistics state that 3 in 10 teen girls in the US will get pregnant at least once before age 20?  That’s about 745,000 teen pregnancies each year.  The average cost of raising a baby through the age of 18 is approximately $269,520.  Statistics show that the US has the highest birth rate followed by the United Kingdom. 

Sexually active teens prefer the condom.  They also engage in sex using the withdrawal method and the pill is their third choice of birth control.  In March 2011, a study showed that teenage sex had decreased.  There was no explanation as to why, but it was assumed that they were concerned with sexually transmitted diseases.  Wouldn’t it be nice to think our children will remain abstinent until they get married.  I live in the real world, and I know that chances of that happening are slim to none.  As a result, can we have a dialogue about birth control please. 

Students at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania can get the “morning-after” pill by sliding $25 into a vending machine.  They can purchase a condom from the same machine or a pregnancy test.  Some experts have concerns that making Plan B so readily available isn’t a good idea.  They are equating it to the abortion  pill.  Experts feel that teens should at least have to go to a pharmacy to obtain Plan B, so they can discuss the risk factors.  Now I’m not saying that discussing risk factors isn’t a good idea, but I would venture to say that it won’t be a priority for a teen who didn’t use protection.  As far as being educated on the risks, they will probably see Google as a better alternative than having to drive to a pharmacy to discuss Plan B over the counter.  Lets say they did drive to the pharmacy,  rregardless of what the pharmacist says, they will more than likely take the pill.    

When I read the article, I wondered what the difference was from a teen purchasing the morning after pill out of a vending machine versus them being able to go to a clinic and getting birth control for free.  I don’t want to make this a pro-abortion or pro-choice post.  I try hard to leave my political beliefs out of my posts.  However, twenty-one states allow minors to obtain birth control without parental consent.  Somebody must be coming into the clinics to get them or it wouldn’t be an issue.   

Personally, I preferred to take my daughter to obtain contraception rather than her going on her own, and I did.  Yes, I sure did.  Some may see me as condoning her having sex, but I saw it as a preventive measure.  In my mind, I thought it would be best if she had if and when she decided to become active.  Why, because I didn’t want her to become a teen mom and I wasn’t naive enough to think that she wouldn’t become active once she was out of my control.  As a single mother, I didn’t want to raise another child.  Most importantly, I didn’t want her to be a statistic.  I was a teen mother.  I became pregnant with my daughter at seventeen and gave birth at eighteen.  Although I had a supportive mom and dad, raising her was not easy.   I didn’t pawn her off on my parents, I took responsibility for her. 

I was thankful that I had a good job with potential to move up in the federal government and I did.  I had excellent benefits, and was lucky enough to be able to provide a good life for her.  I never lived off the taxpayer’s dollar, received food stamps or WIC.  She didn’t receive free meals at school and the taxpayer didn’t pay for her medical expense.  I married a year later, and my husband provided well for us.  Most teens are not in a position to be able to provide and they usually don’t marry and have their husbands provide for them.   The taxpayer usually ends up with the expense.  I am so grateful that I wasn’t a welfare statistic nor did I have to go through the trauma of giving my child up for adoption.   

I believe that we can preach to the choir, but will they truly hear the sermon.  We can try our best to be examples, but when hormones are jumping and our teens are influenced should we supply them with protection.  My daughter married after she completed her college degree, and she didn’t have children until after she was married.  I often wonder if that is because of me helping to protect her as a teen.     

For my readers who are currently raising a teenage daughter or will have a teenage daughter in the future, would you take your daughter to get birth control?  Do you think birth control should be dispensed from a vending machine? Do you have experience as a teen mother or as a single mom?  I would love to hear your views on this subject.