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Old 10-17-2007, 03:36 PM   #1
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How Young Is Too Young For Birth Control?

abcnews.com

How Young Is Too Young for Birth Control?
One School District Mulls a Proposal to Offer Contraceptives to Girls as Young as 11

Oct. 17, 2007

Parents and school officials are preparing to battle tonight in a debate about the sexual health of children at one Maine school district.

Administrators at a Portland middle school are considering a bold proposal that would allow students to access a broader range of contraceptives from the school's health center.

King Middle School's health center already provides condoms as part of its reproductive health program, implemented after five of the 135 students who visited the center last year reported being sexually active.

Prescriptions for birth control pills and patches would be included in the new measure, which has become a lightning rod for controversy in the area.

"We do certainly sit down and speak with them about why that's not a good choice," said Portland's school nurse coordinator Amanda Rowe of sexually active students. "But there are some who persist, even though we don't like to think about that in being sexually active, and they need to be protected."

The school's female students are in grades six to eight and range from ages 11 to 13.

"It will provide a means of making sure you don't get pregnant and ruin your school career and limit yourself in the future," Rowe said.

The students will need a parent's written permission to access any services provided, but they would not have to disclose which service they receive, a point of contention for some.

"They are sending mixed messages. In the state of Maine it is illegal to have sex under the age of 14," said cable talk show host and ABC News commentator Glen Beck on "Good Morning America" today. "You are enabling people."

Beck argued that the plan makes it too easy for girls to have sex and takes power away from the parent, a sentiment some parents agree with.

"I don't think I would want my child in middle school to be getting birth control pills unless I had something to do with it," one woman said.

But others said they believe the proposal is a good idea because some parents feel uncomfortable in the role of sexual educator.

"Parents should be the sex educator for their children," said sexologist and relationship expert Logan Levkoff on "Good Morning America" today. "The problem is not every parent feels empowered [to do so]."

One mother said she believed the idea may be on the right track.

"I think that education at that age is appropriate because our culture is saturated with messages about sex," the woman said.
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:54 PM   #2
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it's all about health. it's so disappointing when people use teenagers to flex their moralizing muscles, and then the teens have to suffer as a result. this is a health issue. preventing early pregnancy is paramount. yes, of course no one wants teens to have sex, but i don't see how the mere availability of birth control is somehow an endorsement of the activity, especially when it should be combined with comprehensive sex education as well as counseling in such a situation.

but i'm sure Glen Beck will milk this for days of outrage. GARRRR!

the surest way for a kid who's going to have sex to NOT use birth control is to require her to tell her mother before she does so. a 17 year old might be able to have a mature discussion with her parents about this, but i doubt a 13 year old would. and, frankly, there are some parents who should have this power taken away from them, because it doesn't really exist at all. i'm 30 and i'd never discuss sex with my parents.

i guess my question is why pills, why not keep it at condoms? i would argue that STDs are at least as important as pregnancy, and pills don't guard against that, and it helps to share the responsibility between the boy and the girl.
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:57 PM   #3
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Wait...so who writes the prescriptions? If this means the girls see a doctor, the doctor writes a script, and the school fills it for free, then fine. I'd be concerned with a school giving out ANY prescription medication for ANY reason, without the script from the doc. I had friends that started birth control pills when they were 11 (not FOR birth control though) so it's not like a new thing. I wish I had! I had my worst periods at that age and was in agony 8 days every month.

I don't get the parental rights argument though. Girls can walk into clinics and get the stuff for free without their parents knowing.....
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:58 PM   #4
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The question isn't how young is too young for birth control, it's how young are kids having sex?
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:59 PM   #5
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i'd argue the question is whether or not the availability of contraception enables sex at a young age.
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Old 10-17-2007, 04:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
i'd argue the question is whether or not the availability of contraception enables sex at a young age.
I'd argue too, since they've been available for girls of that age for quite some time, and I thought that compared to previous decades, kids ARE actually being a bit smarter about sex...
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Old 10-17-2007, 04:01 PM   #7
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This is what it says in the Portland paper

Contraception would be prescribed after a physical examination by a physician or nurse practitioner, Belanger said.

http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/st...&ac=PHnws&pg=1
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Old 10-17-2007, 04:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje


I'd argue too, since they've been available for girls of that age for quite some time, and I thought that compared to previous decades, kids ARE actually being a bit smarter about sex...


someone tell Glen Beck that.

despite the increase of sex in advertising -- i wonder when all these free market moralists are going to realize that the sex comes from the insane desire to sell, sell, sell a ll the time -- teen pregnancy rates are currently lower than they've been in decades, and more kids graduate virgins than in 1991.

(if memory serves)
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Old 10-17-2007, 04:38 PM   #9
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I'm trying to figure out what parents not feeling "empowered" to be the sex educators means, exactly. Can't you just empower yourself to do that?
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Old 10-17-2007, 04:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
i'd argue the question is whether or not the availability of contraception enables sex at a young age.
Enables sex? How so?
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Old 10-17-2007, 04:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
originally posted by Mrs. Springsteen
I'm trying to figure out what parents not feeling "empowered" to be the sex educators means, exactly. Can't you just empower yourself to do that?
There are still some parents out there who are afraid to talk about sex with their kids. For some reason, they believe talking about sex would make their kids go out and do it. How so, beats the hell out of me.
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Old 10-17-2007, 04:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
I'm trying to figure out what parents not feeling "empowered" to be the sex educators means, exactly. Can't you just empower yourself to do that?

exactly. ultimately, it is the parents responsibility to talk to their kids about birth control. as uncomfortable as i was talking to my daughter about the subject, i was glad to do it. believe me, daisy hated every moment of that conversation but she understood why i had to talk to her about these things. i cant understand why other parents feel they have to wait or they are so uncomfortable they wont even talk about it.
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:04 PM   #13
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Originally posted by Pearl


There are still some parents out there who are afraid to talk about sex with their kids. For some reason, they believe talking about sex would make their kids go out and do it. How so, beats the hell out of me.
I know that, but that's not the same thing as feeling empowered or not about it. Nor is it the same as feeling uncomfortable. Like icelle said, it is their responsibility.
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:21 PM   #14
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Enables sex? How so?


i dunno. that's the question here, i think.

does it?
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511


does it?
There are many that believe so, I just haven't seen anyone show me how...
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Enables sex? How so?
I think the perspective of those against providing contraceptives (be they condoms or birth control pills, etc.) is that the lack of them is the only thing that will keep some teens from having sex. I can sort of see the logic in that, but judging from personal experiences with friends of mine, even without parental approval of contraception (and often times with a lack of it, period) they still went ahead and had sex anyway. This lead to one of my best friends getting pregnant 2 years ago. All I know is that people my age (19) and anywhere in this span of teen years that want to have sex are going to have it. It's best if they're provided ways to protect themselves. While teenage sexual activity is not exactly a badge of honor; I feel those against providing this contraception to teens are almost in the wrong, more. It's classic manipulation: "In order to get you to do (or not do, in this case) as I want, I'll withhold something that could help you."
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
There are many that believe so, I just haven't seen anyone show me how...
I think the idea is that kids will be more likely to have sex, thinking that with less chance of pregnancy, there's no reasons not to. In theory, it makes a little bit of sense, but in practice, it really doesn't.
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Old 10-18-2007, 01:16 AM   #18
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If someone handed me a condom right now, I wouldn't think oh wow, now let me find someone to have sex with...

In fact when someone handed me a condom when I was 15, I thought the same thing, I had that condom till it expired.

So I just don't get the mindset.

We are failing in sexual education!!! You can't just preach abstinence, and you can't just preach wear a condom. We have to find a way to teach kids how emotional, intimate, and consequential that sex is even when safe.

But that's just me.
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Old 10-18-2007, 03:09 AM   #19
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I think the anti-contraception argument comes from those who are using fear as their primary tactic to prevent people from having sex (and who assume that fear is the primary reason people aren't having sex). They feel that providing access to contraception takes away one of their primary tools.

But as Bonovox aptly pointed out, there are much more vital issues that need to be addressed that scare tactics do nothing to address.
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:06 AM   #20
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Its a matter of fact now that students are living in a sexualised world, nothing is going to stop the freight train of sex slamming right through early teens, so lets just make sure they're protected physically.

A lot of students at my school are getting their periods, at 9/10/11 years of age. Their bodies have matured and technically they are ready and able to have children - its a horrible thought to think some 11 year old would have sex, but the truth is, it is happening. We can't bury our head in the sand, or threaten (and get physically violent which you KNOW happens) to really screw up a teenagers view on sex, but instead need to say ' i really don't want you to do this, but if something happens i want you to be prepared'

mind you, i don't have an 11 yr old daughter wanting to have sex
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