Mr. Darin Thompson
September 23, 2014
Drug Store Solution
Every teenager in America hears it time and time again: the horrible consequences of sex, the importance of safe sex, and the horrendous results of teenage pregnancy. They learn about the responsibilities of having a child, how hard it is, and all of the different easy ways having a child can be easily prevented. The problem is, how readily available are those preventative methods for a teenager? Birth control is the most effective way to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Most sexually active teenagers think about and want to be on birth control, but are not able to attain this because most effective birth control methods are available only with a prescription. Meanwhile, teenage pregnancy rates are soaring, and continue to grow. The solution is an easy one: make birth control methods available without a prescription.
Every young girl dreams of the day that she will become a mother, but this huge life moment is happening way too early for some. Too many teenage girls in the United States discover they are pregnant daily, which is a fate that cannot be undone, and this forces them into a life of poverty and hardship, due to having to provide for a baby when they are uneducated and not mature enough to adequately provide for themselves, much less another human. “Approximately 368,000 births occurred among teens aged 15-19 years in 2010” (“Sexual Experience and Contraceptive” 1). The sad thing is, the majority of them will tell you that if they could have purchased birth control at the local drug store they would have. Compared to other developed countries, some with over the counter contraceptives, “adolescent childbearing is more common in the United States (22%), than in Great Britain (15%), Canada (11%), France (6%), and Sweden (4%)“ (Darroch). Also, if birth control was readily available, the abortion rate would decrease significantly. As for the girls that do keep their babies, the percentage of them that finish high school is very low; which can potentially cause the child to not have the proper care given to it during the most important years of learning. Teenagers having easier access to birth control would not only benefit them, but the potential child as well.
Health is another issue to consider when debating this topic. Women’s health is a major problem in the U.S. today. Women are prone to STD’s, cancer, and a slough of other conditions, and birth control has been proven help subside some of these risks. Contraceptives are proven to lower the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers, as well as heart disease. It is very true that a woman who is not on birth control may not ever be affected with a particular illness, but using a contraceptive could help reduce the risk as well as prevent pregnancy. Teenage girls usually are not knowledgeable about disease, illness and other factors that come along with being a female. Due to their lack of experience and knowledge about women’s health, becoming pregnant during the teenage years poses major health risks for both the teen and the unborn child. Through major research, it has been proven that most teenage mothers did not receive adequate prenatal care when they were pregnant. For instance, they didn’t regularly take prenatal vitamins, didn’t get immediate OB-GYN care upon confirming the pregnancy, and those that did have regular scheduled prenatal doctor’s visits regularly skipped appointments. They also continued to have unprotected sex during pregnancy, which can potentially expose the mother and the baby to STD’s. Over the counter birth control could prevent all of these issues. If the immature teenagers were not ever pregnant in the first place, they wouldn’t have to worry about the issues associated with prenatal care or the lack thereof.
Like always there are going to be people that disagree. They will go on about how not getting a thorough exam before being placed on