On Birth Control and Teen Pregnancy

I’m watching this movie called The Pregnancy Pact, and I’m really shocked. I know it’s based on a true story, and that girls are still having babies because they think that’s the best option to keep their boyfriends with them forever, or because they think the baby will love them forever. But what appalls me most is the parents outlook on birth control. One of the girls’ mothers, who fought the school nurse about handing out birth control to the students, says doing so would tell the kids “they give up on them”.

I couldn’t disagree more with this statement. Handing out birth control tells our kids we trust them to use it and make the right choices. You can’t avoid it: teens will have sex. They can’t fight the whole impulse control. I was a teen not all that long ago, I remember. Hormones are hard to control at any age, but harder when you’re a teen and you’re new to all those feelings and experiences.

This mother also only talked to her daughter about how important it is to save yourself until marriage, but the reality of it is that most girls – most people, don’t do that. Even if you want your kids to wait until marriage, or until they’re old enough to comprehend the consequences of sex, talking to them only about abstinence isn’t the best option.

Yes, I did get pregnant at 19 (it wasn’t a planned pregnancy, as I’ve mentioned before) – and yes, I am considered to be a young mom. We’ve had to struggle to get ahead, since neither of us had educations or even jobs for that matter. Yes, I’m one of the lucky ones who’s “baby daddy” actually stayed around – I actually ended up getting married to him, and I couldn’t be happier with our life together. But 19 is completely different from 14-16. Emotionally, it’s a huge difference. The younger you are, the more you struggle with everything. I couldn’t imagine trying to raise a baby and finish high school and get a diploma. High school is hard enough with adding babies and parenting to the mix. I know that I faced a lot of struggles, emotionally trying to find my way in the swing of this whole parenting thing and financially get on our feet, but I know that it’s so much harder when you’re still in high school, especially when you don’t have the support from your family like I did.

I will be educating my kids on the importance of safe sex, and that the best means of birth control is to not have it. I will buy them condoms, not because I want to encourage them to have sex but because I want them to be protected if they choose to have sex. It’s not really our choice as parents, is it? We can’t be there when they are in the moment and remind them that it’s probably not a great idea. Hell, that’d be awkward for everyone around, wouldn’t it?

I don’t understand why so many parents, so many school boards, are so set against handing out birth control to the kids. I’d much rather hand out birth control to them than pregnancy tests.

How do you feel about it? Would you put up a big stink if the school board decided to hand out birth control to students? 


About J.C. Hannigan

25. Mother. Wife. Lover of words. Weaver of stories. My first book, Collide, is available in e-book for Amazon Kindle and Kobo.
This entry was posted in issues, opinions, teen pregnancy, thoughts. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to On Birth Control and Teen Pregnancy

  1. Christa says:

    im come from an lds family and i see this alot… the religion teaches abstinence and marriage before sex and they dont teach about birth control cuz they just expect abstinence. i cant even begin to epress how wrong that is. kids will have sex if they choose to. you cant control them. all you can do is teach them and hope for the best. especially now adays.. sex before marriage is most likely going to happen. so its so important to teach them how to prevent pregnancy and stds and all that. ignorance angers me

  2. Yeah, I watched this movie too a few months back and I was stunned. I think I'm stunned because when I was a teenager, getting pregnant was my worst nightmare! So the fact that teens are out getting pregnant ON PUPROSE. I just can't wrap my head around it. I admit, I didn't know just how much young women struggle when they become mothers at a young age. But I knew it sure as hell wouldn't be easy and that it would change my life! How these girls can be so naive is just unbelievable to me.

    Encouraging teenagers to abstain is a whole other argument for me. TEENAGERS HAVE SEX. Keeping birth control from them won't make them more likely to abstain, it'll make them more likely to end up pregnant. They should have easy access to birth control. It doesn't enable them to have sex early. It prevents unwanted pregnancies. I hope Hannah feels comfortable enough to come to me when she decides it's time to go on birth control but in the case that she doesn't want to talk to me about it, I'd feel better knowing that she could attain it at school.

  3. jessi ♥ says:

    @Christa: Exactly!! Well said. The ignorance angers me too, because these kids are too afraid to get birth control on their own, and that's how a lot of these teen pregnancies happen. It can all be avoided, well…unless the girls get it in their heads that a “pact” is a good idea. Then, I'm not really sure what the solution is. 😦

  4. jessi ♥ says:

    @Danielle-Marie: I agree, teenagers have sex, keeping the options from them is just stupid. I'll make sure that my kids know they can come to me. Keeping that communication line there, always open.

  5. well, i typed an entire comment, only for the internet to eat it. 😦

    for me, the issue of teens who try to get pregnant on purpose is ENTIRELY different than that of educating teens on how to protect themselves from diseases and unwanted pregnancies.

    how we go about reaching children who are broken and looking to fill a void is a separate issue for which i would have a separate response.

    in terms of providing birth control to teenagers, how DARE any school do such a thing. some people look at school hours as free babysitting. frankly, i do not think the school needs the burden any more than we should expect them to carry it. it is a PARENT's job to not only educate their children on STD's and unwanted pregnancies, but to instill values and morals. schools have no business whatsoever throwing their hat into the ring. not even a little bit. for children without such direction, again my answer is entirely different.

    a school's job is to educate children on language, mathematics, health, science and the like. a health class is a fine setting in which to discuss STD's, pregnancy and how they are acquired. but beyond that, the school shouldn't be expected to raise my child and provide for them. it is not a school nurse's job to raise my child, it is MY job. the burden of educating them on keeping themselves safe and making good ethical decisions falls to me. if you expect a school to do that for you, then you have problems (not you, i mean in general.) if your child is only hearing/learning about sex in a school environment, your child has bigger problems, too. for me, it isn't even a religious/abstinence issue because many married people don't want to have children or need to know how to time them responsibily, just as marriage is no guarantee of fidelity. people need to know how to protect themselves, period. that education should start at home, and be addressed at school but the actual providing of birth control is a moral issue that should be left out. it isn't a simple or perfect world so assuming every child will get this education is foolish, at best, but again that is a TOTALLY different issue.

    as a teenager, every single one of my friends went out of their way to obtain birth control. some felt comfortable enough to dicsuss it with their parents, and those who didn't got their birth control from planned parenthood or spent their own money to get it, which is why this issue is entirely different to me than kids who get pregnant on purpose. for my part, my parents did NOTHING to educate me and any information i had was gained on my own accord. i will definitely not let history repeat itself. and let me just say, my friends were not particularly smart or any better off than others, it was merely their own instincts.

    i get pretty salty when i see people relying on schools to raise their kids and i get even saltier when schools over-step their ethical boounds and try to insert themselves where they absolutely do not belong.

  6. I totally agree with you — educated them, give them the birth control, and if I may add, give them the support if they so happen to get pregnant. I had struggles at 22 when I got pregnant, you had struggles at 19, IMAGINE being 15 and pregnant! I can't even fathom the emotional struggles. It's. So. Hard.

  7. Mr Lonely says:

    nice blog… visited here with a smile, take care always… feel free to visits me back at http://www.lonelyreload.blogspot.com (A Growing Teenager Diary)… thanks ~~~

  8. Natalija says:

    I think I'm alright with schools handing out birth control as long as they also talk to these teenagers about how effective that birth control is (for example, that condoms alone aren't so hot and if these kids really want something that works they should be looking into getting on the pill as well–something other than just the barrier method).

    Also, I'm generally unsurprised at this kind of reaction. While I never personally experienced a parental reaction concerning birth control myself (I waited to have sex until I was twenty), my boyfriend's sister has many a story of her mother confronting her with tears in her eyes because she found condoms in her bag that the school handed out. And then promptly called the school to tell them that they're putting ideas of premarital sex into her daughter's head. Pretty far-fetched, I know, but people think crazy things sometimes.

    So yes, not surprised by the big stink the parent caused, but I personally disagree with it (so long as they're educating the kids they're handing this stuff out to).

  9. jessi ♥ says:

    @Open and Shut Case: The issue of teens trying to get pregnant and educating teens on birth control is also entirely different to me. I did find that part shocking but honestly, what can you do when they secretly decide that's what they want? It's not as if your teen is going to say “HEY GUESS WHAT?! We're trying!” lol. I was deeply upset with that though, but even more so with the parents for their outlook on birth control. MOST teen pregnancies are unplanned, and happen because kids don't think it CAN happen, and they don't have the education on birth control. And yes, I agree, it IS the parents job to educate their kids, but guess what? It doesn't always happen. Kids don't always get the talk, they don't always get the resources to get birth control. I don't find it daring of the schools trying to help bring down the rise of teen pregnancy by offering birth control. Obviously, times are changing. I will teach my children about sex and birth control, but who knows if every other single parent will? Your friends were lucky enough to have parents that did. My mom put me on the pill in high school but didn't teach me where the failings with it, didn't talk to me about much of anything else. I know girls who's parents flat out refused to discuss the matter with them, and they had to rely on the not so accurate information of everyone else. So no, I don't have a problem with schools offering birth control to those who need it and can't get it elsewhere. 🙂

    @Alicia: I couldn't imagine it, I really couldn't. They definitely DO need support if it happens, but I'd like to see it not happen too. Educating them on birth control and how effective it is, handing out options etc is a good idea. Where else will they get it if they aren't getting it at home?

    @Mr. Lonely: Thanks

    @Natalija: YES, very much so. Kids don't know all the details on birth control, how often does pregnancy happen because they weren't on the pill long enough, or they mixed antibiotics while on it? I just can't stomach the idea of handing out as many pregnancy tests as that nurse had to, when educating them and providing birth control is SO much cheaper.

  10. “You can't avoid it: teens will have sex.” – Very true. Especially in today's world. It sucks, and it's sad but it's reality. In a sense, I understand why some parents wouldn't want the school nurse passing out birth control – some may feel that by doing this, they are promoting and increasing unprotected (well, condom-less) sexual activity. Which may or may not be true… but if they are most likely going to do it anyway, why not prevent them from bringing a child into this world that they are not prepared for? A 14-16 year old can't even get a real job, and most likely does not have their license. They are supposed to depend on their parents and buses for rides to the pediatrician? IDK. It's a sticky subject.

    Also, keep in mind that a lot of young girls keep the baby because they feel it will bring her & the guy closer. I think what young girls need are some kind of self-esteem and sexuality awareness classes. I bet if they talked about what actually happens if you have unprotected sex & get pregnant… like sleepless nights, not living the normal teenage life that they will be seeing their friends doing, not being able to go away to college, having to grow up fast to be able to support your child, etc.

    By the way, I live near the school where those girls had the pregnancy pact SMH.

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