Teenagers Have The Right to Make Reproductive Choices 

Teenage girls should have easy access to birth control pills. “The argument against this idea is that teenagers are not emotionally mature enough to be having sex at all and most importantly that the pills require regular doctor visits for prescription. For all women, an unwanted pregnancy is an emotional, physical, and economic strain that could severely derail a promising future” (“Teenagers And Birth Control Essay.

” Factors And Influence Of The Salem Witch Trials – Essay – 2589 Words, brightkite.com/essay-on/teenagers-and-birth-control.) . This argument is based on the presupposition that access to birth control pills would lead to an increase in the sexual activity of teenagers.

I will argue that teenagers engaging in sex is inevitable and that the risks can only be prevented by allowing education about the methods that would allow them to protect themselves. In other words, supplying over the counter birth control pills to teenagers will create an environment where “the sexual behavior that will occur can be done with lower risk to the health and safety of the teenagers involved” (“Teenagers And Birth Control Essay.” Factors And Influence Of The Salem Witch Trials – Essay – 2589 Words, brightkite.com/essay-on/teenagers-and-birth-control).

I know that worrying about getting pregnant is a pain that everyone who is sexually active has to face. I have observed that most women take most of the burden when it comes to protection during sex especially teenagers. Having babies is a beautiful moment that should be embraced. However, having an unplanned child is rough and it’s good to have an option to avoid that.

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Many girls including myself don’t feel comfortable being open about sex and explaining to parents why birth control is important. It’s very common for a teenage girl to become pregnant because she was too embarrassed to tell her doctor and parents she wanted to start taking birth control pills. Something like this could be easily prevented if only they were more accessible. Contraceptives can hold the pregnancy till the time is right.

There are many different types of birth control. The most common type of birth control is the combination pill. Combination pills have a mix of the hormones: estrogen and progesterone to prevent ovulation (pregnancy). The pill also thickens the mucus around the cervix, which makes it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus and reach any eggs that may have been released.Oral contraceptives are one of the most common medications among women and the most popular method for birth control. But getting the pill usually requires a prescription and can’t be dispensed over-the-counter. Gebelhoff notes that “Birth control pills have always faced strong opposition, particularly from social conservatives uncomfortable with sexual promiscuity among young people¨ and that ¨Critics often argue that greater access to oral contraception with encourage young people to have more sex, and that this puts them at greater risk of sexually transmitted diseases” (Gebelhoff).

According to a journal of adolescent health authored by doctors and reviewed by Elizabeth Koh remarked that ‘The requirement to obtain OCs by prescription from a clinician may serve as a barrier to contraceptive initiation and continuation for women, in particular adolescents,” the also review added that “Over-the-counter availability would reduce this barrier and could further reduce unintended pregnancy rates”(Koh). Almendra explained that:

“Teens are uniquely at risk for unintended pregnancy, but are still under the care of parents or other guardians who may not approve of their sex lives and balk at buying contraception. A 2014 survey of 348 teen girls revealed that 73 percent of them would support over-the-counter access to the pill, and 61 percent of them said they’d use the birth control if it was available this way” (Almendrala).

Almendra also points out that :

“Most doctors say that women should be able to get hormonal birth control after a brief consultation with a pharmacist, similar to what Oregon and California’s new laws allow. Seventy-six percent of doctors and 70 percent of other healthcare providers — including nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physician assistants — say women should be able to access the pill, patch and ring contraceptives through their pharmacist, according to a survey of 482 health care providers conducted by the University of California San Diego and University of California San Francisco” (Almendrala). Teen Girls should be able to take Birth Control and know that even if they’re sexually active they’re doing something to prevent an unwanted pregnancy that could potentially result in many consequences.

Birth control should be more accessible for teenage girls in the United States because choosing to postpone motherhood to pursue academic, career goals is a priority for many young women . Over the counter birth control pills could reduce the Teen Birth Rate drastically. McCarthy acknowledges that “Earlier this month, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced that the state’s teen birth rate dropped 40 percent between 2009 and 2013. This was in large part due to a program that provides contraception to low-income women” (McCarthy).The easy access to morning pills would even decrease abortion rates. McCarthy asserts that the “Lack of readily available contraception and sex education is one of the top reasons for abortions. Last year, a study by Washington University School of Medicine researchers showed that when barriers to contraceptive access are removed, teen pregnancy and abortion rates plummet” (McCarthy, 2016). Meaning more girls get to pursue their goals of academic success before motherhood.

Even though this sounds like a wonderful idea, there are also suppose health risks accompanied by receiving this contraceptive. The Majority of Gynecologist do not mention that Birth Control comes with many risk factors for your health. There are seven common birth control effects that might not seem damaging for your health, but in the long run they add up. When you consume birth control some of the general side effects could include physical changes, emotional changes, and hormonal changes do to synthetic hormones. There are more serious side effects although rare and can happen to some as Alvarez disputes that “According to the World Health Organization, many women with certain conditions should refrain from using birth control pills altogether. These conditions include liver disease, breast cancer, some types of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, coronary artery disease and more. With so many risk factors coming surrounding “the pill,” I hardly feel that it should be something as easily accessible as ibuprofen (Alvarez).”

Isger endorses that :

“Women with unintended pregnancies are more likely to be depressed, experience domestic violence and are less likely to get prenatal care. Such pregnancies, which are either unwanted or “mistimed,” are associated with premature births and low birth weights, which in turn increase the chances the children will have health and developmental problems” (Isger). Dr. Poppy Daniels is an OBGYN and hormone specialist with over ten years of clinical experience cautions readers that she sees a substantial amount of patients who have developed blood clots thanks to their hormonal birth control. She adds that ¨ Most patients, she says, want to transition to another contraceptive method and have come to her for help¨ and that “I rarely see the happy pill patients” (Watts). In Daniel’s experience, many of her patients suffer from undiagnosed clotting disorders that only became apparent after taking hormonal birth control. According to Daniels,¨ blood-clotting disorders are extremely common, and are typically related to a gene mutation that affects an estimated forty percent of the population. For this reason, Daniels will only prescribe hormonal contraception—including the pill, the patch, or the NuvaRing—after she has carefully evaluated the risks for each patient, including a rundown of the patient’s family history for blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks. (Watts)”

These effects are most likely not to happen to a woman and the chances are very rare so the pill can be safely prescribed with the guidance of a pharmacist that can give a teen enough medical information about it. It’s important that a teen girl can prevent and unwanted pregnancy because as Isger endorses “Women with unintended pregnancies are more likely to be depressed, experience domestic violence and are less likely to get prenatal care. Such pregnancies, which are either unwanted or ‘mistimed,’ are associated with premature births and low birth weights, which in turn increase the chances the children will have health and developmental problems” (Isger).

Realistically now more than ever most teenagers are sexually active and aren’t responsible enough to own up to the consequences of an unwanted pregnancy. Sex is normal and teenage girls shouldn’t feel embarrassed and shamed for wanting to get birth control to prevent life changing outcomes they do not want. Taking care of a child doesn’t come cheap and many people who have an unplanned pregnancies aren’t able to get a higher education because of all the expenses and responsibilities that come with having a baby. Overall there are less damages and more benefits to birth control pills and pros are to outweigh the cons as the cons are only a small percentage of happening. If a teenage girl experiences the negatives of the pills she could simply stop taking it and shift to a different method that works. Birth control pills could solve serious problems by preventing unplanned pregnancies. Not only that but it will also keep teenage girls safe, on track, and pursuing their goals but make them more responsible and mature about sex.

Works Cited

  • “Teenagers And Birth Control Essay.” Factors And Influence Of The Salem Witch Trials – Essay – 2589 Words, brightkite.com/essay-on/teenagers-and-birth-control.
  • “Pros and Cons of Birth Control Pills.” Birth Control Online: Yasmin, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Yaz, Levlen, 15 Dec. 2015, mybirthcontrolonline.com/pros-and-cons-of-Birth-control-pills.html. Accessed 25 Apr. 2018.
  • Almendrala, Anna. “7 Research-Based Facts About ‘Over-The-Counter’ Birth Control.” HuffPost, Oath Inc., 8 Jan. 2016, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/over-the-counter-birth-control_us_568c5fdae4b0a2b6fb6dc14a. Accessed 24 Apr. 2018.
  • Alvarez, Manny. “Why Birth Control Pills Need to Be Prescribed.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 21 Nov. 2012, www.foxnews.com/health/2012/11/21/why-birth-control-pills-need-to-be-prescribed.html. Accessed 7 May. 2018.
  • Gebelhoff, Robert. “It’s Time to Make Birth Control Pills Available over the Counter.” Chicagotribune.com, 20 Mar. 2017, www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-birth-control-over-the-counter-20170320-story.html. Accessed 7 May. 2018.
  • Isger, Sonja. “Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pills Poses Advantanges, Risks, Doctors Say.” Palmbeachpost, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer, 26 Dec. 2012,
  • www.palmbeachpost.com/entertainment/celebrity-news/over-the-counter-birth-control-pills-poses-advantanges-risks-doctors-say/wwgK4mNq2RhVU0gqXGmNvK/. Accessed 7 May. 2018.
  • Koh, Elizabeth. “Should Teens Get Birth Control Pills over-the-Counter? Some Doctors Say Yes.” Miami Herald, Miami Herald, 17 Mar. 2017, www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article139136393.html. Accessed 25 Apr. 2018.
  • McCarthy, Kyle. “6 Reasons Why Birth Control Should Be More Accessible in the United States.”
  • The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 28 July 2016, www.huffingtonpost.com/kyle-mccarthy/birth-control-over-counter_b_7872772.html . Accessed 24 Apr. 2018
  • Watts, Sarah. “An Over-the-Counter Pill Isn’t Safe.” The Daily Beast, The Daily Beast Company, 15 June 2015, www.thedailybeast.com/an-over-the-counter-pill-isnt-safe. Accessed 7 May. 2018.

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Teenagers Have The Right to Make Reproductive Choices . (2021, Apr 22). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/teenagers-have-the-right-to-make-reproductive-choices-essay

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