Should Plan B (morning After Pill) Be Available To Teenage Girls – Term Paper Example
Morning-After Pill should not be Available to Teenagers Morning-After Pill should not be Available to Teenagers According to reports by the General Household Survey of the government, 1 in every 8 teenage girl aged 16 has taken the morning-after pill at least once. This is a very alarming number if one would consider the number of other underage kids who uses this contraceptive all across the nation. It further states that 12% of teenage girls aged 16-17 has used this pill after engaging in sexual intercourse. Furthermore, .5% of these teenagers has used this pill at least twice, and .25% of these teenagers has used it even more often. According to the reports, the pill is so easy to acquire, that 50% of those who used it got it from their doctors or nurses, and around 25% bought it over the counter, while the rest of the users got it from family planning clinics (Kelleher, 2010, p.302-4). While it may be true that the morning after pill can help a lot in special cases, the easy availability of such especially to underage kids --- and with such large numbers patronizing it --- raises serious health concerns.
According to President Obama:
--- I think it is important for us to make sure that we apply some common sense to various rules when it comes to over-the-counter medicine. And as I understand it, the reason Kathleen [Seblius] made this decision was she could not be confident that a 10- year-old or an 11-year-old...should be able, alongside bubble gum or batteries, be able to buy a medication that potentially, if not used properly, could end up having an adverse effect. And I think most parents would probably feel the same way. (Belz)
This alone speaks a lot of the concerns from adults when it comes to allowing underage kids to have access to these pills. While statistics has not stated it yet, such options for “not getting pregnant” could encourage more and more underage kids to engage in sexual intercourse (Kelleher, 2010, p.291). This can easily lead to thinking how much more problems regarding STDs will this issue raise. The reported numbers of teenagers using this contraceptive pill show that the original safe sex message of using condoms for prevention not only of unwanted pregnancies but also of STDs (Godfrey et al., 2010, p.545 and Kelleher, 2010, p.293). While the morning after pill can really be useful in emergency cases of preventing unwanted pregnancies, it surely does not prevent unwanted transmission of STDs.
Th morning-after pill also encourages irresponsible intercourse from the younger generation. This dos not speak well in terms of the physical, emotional, and mental health of these young people, since it breeds the feeling of “doing something just because they can gt away with it.” It also increases the careless action of disregarding other serious outcomes, like STDs and responsible sex (Godfrey et al., 2010, p.545-6), and just focusing on “not getting pregnant.” Despite the argument that everybody is equal in terms of human rights, there are just some things that should be taken into consideration with the age of the doer. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, adults are different from minors (Kelleher, 2010, p.295).
In terms of physical health, there are studies that confirm how the use of contraceptive pills by young girls can raise the risks of developing breast cancer during their adult years. The younger the girls age when she starts using pills, the higher her risks of developing breast cancer (Hensley et al., 2010, p.279). Because of this, minors should be protected from doing harm to their bodies that could adversely affect their health during their adult years. Furthermore, it is not indicated that the morning-after pill can be used routinely (Hensley et al., 2010, p.279) to prevent unwanted pregnancy. This fact bring about the concerns on the mental readiness of these minors.
Just as Pres. Obama stated, it is quite bothering to allow girls as young as 10 or 11 to b able to easily purchase morning-after pills as if buying candies (Belz). Despite the argument that many teens are more mature than their age, their mental knowledge and discipline in using drugs such as these may not b at its peak yet. There are chances that they really do not understand the weight of its effects on their bodies come adult age. The nations problem on the use of illegal drugs among adults is enormous, so how much more can a nation fully entrust to kids a decision to arbitrarily use pills that might cause side-effects that they might not know about (Hensley et al., 2010, p.281). The point here is, if adults can abuse what is illegal, how much discipline can one expect from a minor in using something that is legal?
Furthermore, there are also concerns when it comes to the emotions of these minors. Everybody knows how hormones affect teenagers during puberty. Giving them access to such options that almost carries with it no responsibility does not help in forming their attitude towards things (Kelleher, 2010, p.294). It is enough that thy have access to things that can prevent STDs, but at least it teaches them safe sex. The morning-after pill does not teach these kids anything other than doing things irresponsibly.
Minors should not b allowed to have easy access to morning-after pills. It only solves one issue (and not even 100% of the issue) of unwanted pregnancy, but it adds to a whole gamut of issues from sense of responsibility to transmission of STDs, to the possibilities of negative side effects. While many people might say that the feeling of being bothered at having these pills sold over-the-counter is a conservative viewpoint, it is a conservative viewpoint with a solid basis. In fact, these young kids may even still be getting their money from their parents (Kelleher, 2010, p.297), and the simplest question to ask is: Do you parents even know or agree to you buying and taking morning-after pills?
Belz, E. (n.d.). Not for teens. n.p. Retrieved from http://drjamesdobson.org/images/Grounded/pdf/Not%20for%20Teens.pdf
Godfrey, E. M., Wheat, S. G., Cyrier, R., Wong, W., Trussell, J., & Schwarz, E. B. (2010). Contraceptive needs of women seeking care from a publicly funded sexually transmitted infection clinic. Contraception, 82, 6, 543-548.
Hensley, A. S. M., Lappin, R. E., Wells, K., Barone, A. R., & Dalton, V. K. (2010). Adolescent and Young Adult Womens Use of Emergency Contraception. Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, 23, 5, 279-284.
KELLEHER, J. P. A. U. L. (2010). Emergency Contraception and Conscientious Objection. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 27, 3, 290-304.