Teenage pregnancy is an ongoing problem in the United States. Adolescents are asked about their sexual activity, along with alcohol and smoking at yearly checkups ages eleven and up. An adult must be present at doctor's appointments for all children under the age of eighteen.
A report in the NY times released by a team of researchers at the University of Minnesota Adolescent Health Center states that, half of all mothers of sexually active teenagers mistakenly believe that their children are still virgins. It's not uncommon for a positive pregnancy result to be the first discussion adolescents have about the topic with their parents or guardians. While I understand not all teen pregnancies are an accident the majority are.
Adolescent males are not obligated to confront their parent or guardian about their decision to be sexually active, why are we forcing females to? There are many health concerns with prematurely having children for mom and baby such as premature birth, low birth weight, and post-partum depression.
A solution to the problem
Making contraceptives accessible without parental permission. If adolescents were able to be placed on birth control with parental permission, I believe the teen pregnancy rate would drop drastically. Most adolescents do not ask for parental permission to be placed on birth control, why should we force them to ask for permission to be placed on birth control. Many people might argue that allowing access to birth control without parental permission is giving adolescents permission to be sexually active. I believe it's giving them permission to be responsible for their actions.
While I understand abstinence is the only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy, if changing the requirements for birth control changes just one future it'll be worth it. Understanding cost to be a concern when allowing minors without an income access to contraceptives, think of this way. As a society would it have been cost efficient to supply 229,715 people with a year supply of birth control or pay for the prenatal care and delivery of 229,715 babies.
Transitional Sentence: In conclusion, I hope at least one person would agree that contraceptives accessible to adolescents without parental permission would benefit us a society.
Briefly Summarize: To summarize, teen pregnancy is an ongoing problem in the United State, most of which parents or guardians are unaware their child is sexually active until after they are pregnant. Allowing access to contraceptives without parental permission would tremendously lower teen pregnancy rates.
Memorable Statement: I think many people would agree with Grace Hopper when she said, "It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission."