Should I talk to my child about Birth Control?
This is a question that many parents are still asking themselves today. Some schools have been active participants on the education of Birth Control and contraception. Whether you are in favor or against the use of Birth Control it is important for the teenage son or daughter to know why you are in favor or against it. There are two very important reasons for Birth Control. One is to prevent unintended pregnancy and the other is to prevent transmittable diseases.
But what does Birth Control mean?
In simple terms it is the practice of preventing unwanted pregnancies. This is typically done with the help of contraception.
Different organizations have been created to curtail the age at which women experience their first birth and to decrease the number of births among teenagers. One of them is, â€śThe Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programâ€ť run by the Office of Adolescent Health, another is â€śTitle V Abstinence Programâ€ť run by the Administration Children, Youth and Families just to mention some.
Why is prevention important? What is known about Birth control?
To understand the importance of Birth Control it might be best to look at the consequences of unplanned teen pregnancy first. According to the National Campaign to Prevent teen and Unplanned Pregnancy there have been close to 567,000 births from pregnancies where women say they did not want a child at the time of conception. It also states that many pregnancies have been resolved by abortion.
In an analysis article from Child Trends published in The Guttmacher Institute, found that children 2 years old who were born from an unplanned pregnancy have significantly lower cognitive test scores. I believe this happens because children are left to the very basic needs of diaper changing, feeding, but there is no planned future for this child. Many of these children are born to single parenthood households who were already struggling to make ends meet, and now find themselves poorer. They generally end up dropping out of high school with lower grades, and no college aspirations. They are also known to have poorer school attendance records. Pregnant teens without support, find it hard to give quality support and care to the child. Some have no clarity on what they would like to do after high school and with no support it will be hard for them to continue into college; therefore, just continuing the cycle of poverty. Teen parents eventually bring up their children the same way they were brought up, by teen parents.
Children born as the result of an intended pregnancy have better scores, because their parents are more involved and work together towards giving the child the best of what they can offer. Generally this is the couple working together to make a family. They are generally more involved in the childâ€™s education. They are the parents that are generally more active and available in school activities. They are the type of parents that have their child in different enrichment activities to empower them in their cognitive growth.
What do we know about Birth Control?
Birth Control is filled within its history with the same controversy it is faced up with today. Americaâ€™s first family planning clinic was open in 1916 and shut down in 10 days. The clinic was opened by Margaret Sanger who was a pioneer on birth control. She was a serious advocate on birth planning and jailed several times because of it. In 1921, she founded the American Birth Control League, which later became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In 1960 the first oral contraceptive was marketed. I was surprised to see that it was not until 1965 in Griswold v. Connecticut that married couple got the right to use Birth Control and that millions of unmarried women in 26 states were still denied birth control. It was not until 1972 in Baird v. Eisenstadt that birth control was legalized for all citizens regardless of their marital status. In 1970, Title X of the Public Health Service Act was created to establish a federal funding that supports the provision of family planning services to low-income individuals. This is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The truth is no matter how the media or schools present Birth Control and contraception it is strictly up to the families to decide what is best for their children. Cultural traditions, religious beliefs and individual necessities will shape all issues regarding contraception and the laws behind it.
On the other hand, contraception has helped women in the workforce, in education, and in gaining economic power. Women feel like they have more and better control in shaping their future. It is also important to note that in a control-study conducted in 2010 of 46,000 women over a period of 40 years, it was found that women on the Pill live longer and are less likely to die prematurely, from heart disease and cancer.
Sarah Brown, CEO of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, says â€śShe canâ€™t remember a time when contraception has been so mischaracterized and maligned.â€ť Brown suggests that whatever the proposition of the day is regarding contraception, individuals should ask themselves a simple question: does it increase womenâ€™s access to good contraceptive care? If the answer is no; oppose it.â€ť
Did you know that â€śThe Centers for Disease Control and Preventionâ€ť has named family planning as one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century?
Whatever your stand may be on this issue, I would love to hear your opinion.
If you are a teen, share your views with us. I would love to read your comments on this.