American Academy of Pediatrics recommending emergency contraception be prescribed in advance

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that teens are more likely to use emergency contraception if it’s prescribed in advance and the group wants to encourage routine counseling and advance emergency-contraception prescriptions as one part of a public health strategy to reduce teen pregnancy.

From Pediatrics:

“Adolescents younger than 17 years must obtain a prescription from a physician to access emergency contraception in most states. In all states, females 17 years or older and males 18 years or older can obtain emergency contraception without a prescription. Adolescents are more likely to use emergency contraception if it has been prescribed in advance of need. The aim of this updated policy statement is to (1) educate pediatricians and other physicians on available emergency contraceptive methods; (2) provide current data on safety, efficacy, and use of emergency contraception in teenagers; and (3) encourage routine counseling and advance emergency-contraception prescription as 1 part of a public health strategy to reduce teen pregnancy. This policy focuses on pharmacologic methods of emergency contraception used within 120 hours of unprotected or underprotected coitus for the prevention of unintended pregnancy. Emergency contraceptive medications include products labeled and dedicated for use as emergency contraception by the US Food and Drug Administration (levonorgestrel and ulipristal) and the “off-label” use of combination oral contraceptives.”

From a release from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

“A new policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discusses the use of emergency contraception and how it can reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy in adolescents. The statement, “Emergency Contraception,” will be published in the December 2012 Pediatrics and released online Nov. 26. “

“According to the AAP, adolescents are more likely to use emergency contraception if it’s prescribed in advance. Many teens continue to engage in unprotected sexual intercourse, and as many as 10 percent are victims of sexual assault. Other indications for use include contraceptive failures (defective or slipped condoms, or missed or late doses of other contraceptives). “

“When used within 120 hours after having unprotected or under-protected sex, selected regimens for emergency contraception, such as Plan B, Next Choice, etc., are the only contraceptive methods to prevent unwanted pregnancy.”

“According to the AAP, pediatricians can play an important role in counseling patients and providing prescriptions for teens in need of emergency contraception for preventing pregnancy. Patients should also know that emergency contraception does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and pediatricians should discuss the importance of STI testing, or treatment if needed. The AAP also encourages pediatricians to advocate for better insurance coverage and increased access to emergency contraception for teens, regardless of age.”

AJC reporter Katie Leslie is looking for real parents to discuss this recommendation in an article she is working on today and tomorrow. You can email her or call her if you’d like to discuss the issue. Her email is Katie.Leslie@ajc.com or you can call her at 404-526-5969.

I can’t imagine teens going to their own pediatrician for fear of the doctor telling their parents. I think they would be too ashamed and embarrassed.

If they were willing to go for emergency contraception then wouldn’t they go for regular contraceptives ahead of time?

I do have a story about this though. While waiting early one Sunday morning for the Wal-Greens Take Care Clinic to open, I watched a young man sheepishly go to the pharmacy in flip flops and bedhead and ask for the emergency contraception.  I was wondering why such a young man would be going to a pharmacy so early in the morning and then it made sense. And he said it so loudly. I could plainly hear him sitting across the room.

Should pediatricians prescribe emergency contraceptives in advance? Do you see your child heading to the pediatrician for this type of help? If they would do this, wouldn’t it be more likely that they would have visited them asking for the pill beforehand? Would you want to know if your child visited your pediatrician? Do you think they should have to tell you?

84 comments Add your comment

RJ

November 26th, 2012
1:05 pm

The issue is that you’re talking about teens. I don’t think the average teen would use this the way it’s intended. I see them attempting to use it as a form of birth control. And that’s only for the half way responsible ones. I also don’t see teens going to their parents about this; even those that are close to their parents. It’s an embarrassing situation.

From my experience, doctors won’t see children without an adult present. They can go into the examination room alone, but an adult must be in the office. How would a teen get around that? Also, if I’m responsible for my child, I want to know if they’re prescribed a medication.

As the parent of two teens, I speak to them often about sex and the responsibility that comes along with it. I want them to have the facts and be safe. I can see telling them to let me know if something happens and they need to get a prescription. I just don’t know that they’d do it. Teens can be funny that way. Open communication and education is the key to getting our kids to be more responsible. Heck, some teens get pregnant deliberately. That’s something I’ll never quite understand.

FCM

November 26th, 2012
1:35 pm

The bigger issue is that this does nothing to prevent STDs. Condoms need to be a MUST not a MAYBE for teens…along with spermicides, the pill and other precautions.

I pray that talking openly and honestly with my tweens means that they will really think about their choices. Also that they will feel they can come to me if they make/are making those choices.

CDW

November 26th, 2012
1:45 pm

I think the bottom line is – what can it hurt? The process of getting the prescription should include other valuable information about how to protect oneself from unwanted pregnancy in the first place (yes, that should come from parents, but we all know life doesn’t always work that way). This might be the only real sex ed the teen gets.

If it is there and readily available with a standing prescription , the teen can take care of the pregnancy issue early on. Hopefully they will discuss it with their parents, but even if they don’t, a teen pregnancy has been avoided.

I don’t know what the cash (no insurance) cost is, but I know it has a $40 co-pay on my plan, which is expensive enough that teens are unlikely to rely on it for regular birth control, but cheap enough to find the money if you really need it.

Techmom

November 26th, 2012
1:52 pm

I also saw an article that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is recommending birth control be available without a prescription.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/20/health/birth-control-over-the-counter/index.html

Personally I think that’s more of the way to go rather the the “Oops” pill. I do think the morning after pill should be available from a pharmacist, without a prescription but I’d rather see birth control as the first line of defense. The morning after pill is pretty strong and could cause other issues whereas the side effects from birth control are relatively minor for most women and it’s proven effective if taken properly. Condoms however are available OTC and teens still don’t use them. I think it’s mostly b/c it’s embarrassing to buy them… not sure if bc would be less embarrassing or not.

@RJ – my son is 17 and I send him to the doctor, dentist and orthodontist regularly without me. I did go with him for his physical this year but since he drives, there’s really no point in me sitting in the waiting room.

Kate

November 26th, 2012
1:59 pm

Good blog! When I was a teen, I went secretly to a doctor under a false name to get pills. My mother is catholic and would’ve been upset. So obviously there are teens who look after themselves & care about their future!
Some teens never intend to have sex, but make a “mistake.” That’s what emergency contraception is for. Parents are not always understanding or nice. Some are judgmental, some are morally rigid, some are even abusive. That is not a teen girl’s fault…why should she be forced to endure unwanted pregnancy, with all the pain, disability, loss of friends, loss of school/work time, just because her parents are like that? Even if she gives the baby up for adoption, she still suffers gravely.
Kathleen Sebalius was wrong to make girls under 17 intelligible to buy emergency contraception OTC. These are the very people least equipped to carry a pregnancy. If I had gotten pregnant as a teen, I don’t think I would have been able to finish college and become a teacher.
I have two teen boys. But if I had a girl, you’d better believe I would have put her on hormonal contraception in her teens…just in case!

Kate

November 26th, 2012
2:04 pm

Good blog! When I was a teen, I went secretly to a doctor under a false name to get pills. My mother is catholic and would’ve been upset. I was a flutist, and I hid my pills inside my metronome. So obviously there are teens who look after themselves & care about their future!
Some teens never intend to have sex, but make a “mistake.” That’s what emergency contraception is for. Parents are not always understanding or nice. Some are judgmental, some are morally rigid, some are even abusive. That is not a teen girl’s fault…why should she be forced to endure unwanted pregnancy, with all the pain, disability, loss of friends, loss of school/work time, just because her parents are like that? Even if she gives the baby up for adoption, she still suffers gravely.
Kathleen Sebalius was wrong to make girls under 17 intelligible to buy emergency contraception OTC. These are the very people least equipped to carry a pregnancy. If I had gotten pregnant as a teen, I don’t think I would have been able to finish college and become a teacher.
I have two teen boys. But if I had a girl, you’d better believe I would have put her on hormonal contraception in her teens…just in case!

Techmom

November 26th, 2012
2:17 pm

And since we’re talking about it and it drives me insane- why the h$ll isn’t there a male contraceptive on the market??

[...] Morning-After Pill to Teens in Advance?WebMDLos Angeles Times -ABC News -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 90 news [...]

mom2alex&max

November 26th, 2012
2:54 pm

While we ALL hope that we can have open and honest relationships with our teens and hopefully prevent the need for ever having to use this prescription, the truth is that teens make bad choices sometimes. It doesn’t mean they are bad or that you are a bad parent, it just means they are not done growing and maturing yet. If I can prevent my kid from a bad decision basically derailing his/her life, you better believe that I will take it.

I don’t have a daughter, but if I did, this prescription will for SURE be around my house. Along with communication, information, birth control, and a lot of prayer. The hope is that you never have to use it, but it is there if needed. Everyone can make a bad choice. Even grown women can make bad choices and basically be tied to a moron for the rest of their lives. So anything that can prevent a teen from having to deal with an unwanted pregnancy is good in my book.

Jessica

November 26th, 2012
3:00 pm

I have no idea if prescribing these pills is safe from a health perspective, but I have to ask…

Am I the only parent here who still thinks that KIDS SHOULD NOT BE HAVING SEX??? Adults can try to teach them how to be safe, but there is no way to eliminate the risks to their physical health, and to their emotional and relational development.

They may be physically ready for sex, but teens are not yet prepared to deal with the responsibility and risk. It’s like handing children a can of gasoline and a lighter and telling them that it’s okay to start fires — just make sure there’s a fire extinguisher on hand.

MotherOfATeenageBoy

November 26th, 2012
3:04 pm

Techmom, I am puzzled about that also. With all the forms of female contraceptives that they have out there, and continue to invent, you would think they would have something for males too!

Grumps

November 26th, 2012
3:09 pm

@Techmom

And since we’re talking about it and it drives me insane- why the h$ll isn’t there a male contraceptive on the market??

It’s all biology. It’s simpler to focus on one egg than it is to neutralize on all those thousands of sperm, any one of which can fertilize the egg.

DJ Sniper

November 26th, 2012
3:19 pm

Jessica, I don’t think any parent is thrilled with the idea of kids having sex. However, you can’t just stick your head in the sand and pretend it’s not going to happen. I’m not sure how I feel about this particular issue, but one that I am sure of is this: Kids need to be taught some form of basic, comprehensive sex education. Abstinence only is NOT the way to go.

HB

November 26th, 2012
3:32 pm

Good analogy, Jessica. Of course you can give someone a fire extinguisher and make sure they know how to use it (ALL parents should make sure their kids know basic fire safety!) without telling them it’s ok to start fires. Similarly, parents can make sure their kids are well educated about how to prevent STDs and unwanted pregnancies without encouraging them to have sex.

Techmom

November 26th, 2012
3:55 pm

Jessica, I think most of us hope and pray our teenagers don’t have sex before they get married but the reality is, most don’t wait. We teach abstinence first and foremost but also that if he wants to engage in sex that he better be responsible. I was too ashamed to go to the doctor to get birth control when I was a teenager and ended up pregnant. Too bad I didn’t realize how much more ashamed I would be when I had to tell my parents I was pregnant.

SEE

November 26th, 2012
5:14 pm

You know, you should never hand on electrical utility lines. Even though it’s a lot of fun, it’s dangerous and could get you electrocuted. However, many kids will hang on electrical utility lines anyways, so we should give them heavy duty gloves…just so they don’t make a big “mistake”.

RJ

November 26th, 2012
5:43 pm

@Techmom, that’s interesting. Our pediatrician and dentist won’t see kids without an adult present. I actually sent my daughter to the dentist and they turned her away. I understand though. If something is serious and they are a minor, an adult needs to be present. When I think about it, even the orthodontist requires parents to be in the waiting room (we can’t even sneak over to Publix next door. They have a sign.)

motherjanegoose

November 26th, 2012
5:55 pm

@ Jessica…no, you are not the only parent.

who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men

November 26th, 2012
6:17 pm

quick show of hands of everyone on this blog who waited until at least 20 to have sex….

anyone…..anyone….

bueller……bueller…..

who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men

November 26th, 2012
6:21 pm

my bets are TWG, MJG…and maybe Jessica will raise their hands.

mom2alex&max

November 26th, 2012
6:37 pm

Jessica, please don’t be naive! Of course none of us are thrilled at the idea of our teens having sex. We would LOVE for that not to happen until they are ready (preferably some time after college? LOL). But the truth is that for more than half of American teens it WILL happen sometime in high school. We have talks with them, we counsel them on the benefits of waiting, we give them as much as info as we can, but we would be fools if we thought that we could just stop it from happening!

[...] Hand, U.S. Doctors SaySan Francisco ChroniclePrescribe Morning-After Pill to Teens in Advance?WebMDAmerican Academy of Pediatrics recommending emergency contraception be …Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)RTT News -Los Angeles Times -ABC Newsall 87 news [...]

[...] Morning-After Pill to Teens in Advance?WebMDLos Angeles Times -ABC News -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 90 news [...]

DB

November 26th, 2012
7:47 pm

Jessica, as far as declaring “no sex until marriage,” it’s a safe thought — but it’s not realistic. The Learning Channel had a series called “The Virgin Diaries” — which closed up after 10 episodes. . . .

Yes, it would be comforting to think that teens were not engaging in behavior that put them in danger of completely turning their life upside down emotionally, physically and financially. Realistically, though, impressing upon your teenagers the importance of waiting until they are in a monogamous relationship built on trust and respect may be more successful, along with honest communication regarding birth control, STDs and how you can’t just tell from “looking” at something whether or not they are infected. :-) I told my kids that having sex was a big responsibility, and that unless they were emotionally, physically and financially prepared to care for a baby, then it was up to them to make sure that a pregnancy didn’t happen. I also told them to take a good look at a prospective partner, and decide if they wanted to have a child with that partner — because if ANYTHING went wrong, they were going to be seeing a lot of that person for the next 18-25 years.

Honestly — if I had a choice between having a child with an unwanted pregnancy or having them obtain emergency contraception “behind my back”, I’d much rather they obtained the contraception.

M.E.

November 26th, 2012
10:42 pm

The best answer is open and honest sex education. And don’t think you should wait until they are a “sexual age” to do it; open and honest sex ed should begin when children begin asking about their own bodies. Kids also need to be able recognize molestation, and know how to say no and feel safe reporting it before the age of 5. It’s not enough to think your child can talk to you about anything; you have to make sure they believe they can talk to you about anything.

Jennifer

November 26th, 2012
11:24 pm

You can call me old-fashioned for saying this and frankly I do not care. No teen should be given anything without consultations with their parents — especially a prescription that basically gives them free license to sleep around. I had no problem whatsoever with abstinence only birth control as a teen. Yes, there are some of us out there who actually did not drink or sleep around. We also married our only partner and have strong, healthy families. We are raising our children to be responsible as well and at least for us, no doctor is going to be allowed to give our teen this prescription without our knowledge and ok. They are minors. If other parents are fine with letting their children sleep around so be it, but not me. My daughter will never be given access to this or any other birth control. She will not need it. It is pretty pathetic that people would rather just let teens be teens than encourage them to do what is right and wait until marriage. Giving them birth control “just in case” and telling them sex outside of marriage is wrong is totally hypocritical! I am sure I am in the minority on this, and that is fine. Speaking from experience though, abstinence is possible and good parenting and support are what can make it successful. Do some make mistakes? Of course, but it can be done and should still be encouraged.

vee1

November 27th, 2012
5:35 am

Wow! This subject takes me back. In the early 70’s when I was a teen I was pretty self-sufficient. I was out of school early, working full-time and living on my own (before I was 18). I never once thought I couldn’t do anything I wanted to do. I made my own gyn appt. for contraception. I got it, but they did act “weird”. I had come from one of those super-strict religious families and just HAD to get away. Fast forward to when I had my own teenagers. While I raised my kids in a much different atmosphere it would not have been ok with me for someone to give any medication to my minor children. I don’t believe most kids today would have gone my route. Don’t see the maturity or insight there.

T.S.

November 27th, 2012
5:43 am

Mom2alex&max writes, “The truth is that teens make bad choices sometimes. It doesn’t mean they are bad or that you are a bad parent, it just means they are not done growing and maturing yet.”

That doesn’t really hold true. The choices someone makes do define if they are good or bad. Teens who choose to vandalize property, steal or start brawls are not “bad” in your book?

motherjanegoose

November 27th, 2012
7:24 am

@ Jennifer….ditto: Yes, there are some of us out there who actually did not drink or sleep around.
I dated and had lots of friends. I was VP of my High School Senior Class, not that it matters a bit now. I simply made choices and yes it was often hard to do, as it is hard to do now. Everyone has to make a choice for themself and that was the choice I made. You figure out what is important and you try to stick with it. You cannot make the choice for someone else, nor do you have to.

Jeff

November 27th, 2012
7:30 am

I’m still a firm believer that we need a male birth control pill.

southpaw

November 27th, 2012
8:01 am

Who knows @6:17 pm
My better half and I both stopped waiting a few hours after our wedding, after we had waited 29 years and 22 years. Can I raise both our hands, or just my own?

Georgia

November 27th, 2012
8:02 am

When my daughter turned fifteen or sixteen, my wife took her to a gynocologist, and got birth control pills for her. I was concerned about the hormonal influences on my daughter’s body as it developed, but my wife insisted that unwanted pregnancy was worse than any other alternative. I guess she was ahead of her time. This was the year of our lord, 1999, give or take. This is true: one of our neighbors found out about my daughter’s early contraception and condemned us outright and very forcefully. Her own daughter conceived a child out of wedlock in her teens ust a couple of years later.. We were kind and very supportive of that family in spite of the humiliation that those good, yet strangely judgemental christians heaped upon us. The baby was beautiful. Christianity for some means that it’s okay if a sin is committed by oneself, but not okay if a sin is committed by others. Funny religion, that christianity, for some.

As far as judging sexual activity: sociologists say we imagine sexual activity every seventeen seconds, or minutes. Whatever. I’m 62, so it’s more like every seventeen days, but nobody except Hillary Clinton can keep sex out of their lives for long (cankles). I wonder how the moral implications compare when judging abortion vs contraception, or worse, bringing unwanted children into an abusive world, and just letting them experience the total hell we’ve created for all unwanted newborns. Thank you GOP. Thank you judgemental christians!!

Chaos

November 27th, 2012
8:13 am

Why is there always at least one person that thinks life is simply wine and roses and nobody should ever do anything they are not supposed to do? You live in a bubble. Get out and experience reality once in a while.

You can preach abstinence till you are blue in the face but that is only going to keep the ugly kids from doing something stupid. It is not realistic to expect your kid will never have sex, or make the right decisions. Kids are stupid, they make mistakes, it’s part of learning. Your job as a parent is to make sure that your kids dumb mistakes don’t haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Metro Coach

November 27th, 2012
8:16 am

Under 30, wife and I married at 21, both virgins. It’s really not that difficult to make the right choices. Some of you act like making the correct choice is the hardest thing in the world to do. Its not. Teenagers need to be responsible for their actions. If they decide to have sex outside of marriage, that’s their choice, but they need to realize that making that choice comes with consequences and responsibilities. If they think they’re mature enough to make adult choices, they need to be prepared to take the adult responsibilities that come along with those choices, and yes, that includes dealing with STDs and pregnancies. And no, abortion on demand is not an adult choice. Its the coward’s way out of the responsibilities brought on by an adult choice. And no, abortion lovers, I’m not talking about rape or incest, I’m talking about the majority of abortions, which are performed so that the mother or father’s life isn’t inconvenienced by a “mistake”.

motherjanegoose

November 27th, 2012
8:17 am

@ Jeff…good point but I wonder how many women would trust a man to tell the truth, when the outcome is not squarely on the man’s shoulders. I know the reverse is also true. I guess it is a trust issue. When you have a hard time trusting people ( like I do) you may have a different point of view. I have had way too many people break a trust. I laugh, when I have clients that try to change things after we signed the contract. I remind them that we DO have a contract and sometimes they have said, ” Oh, you take it seriously?” Um YES because I am thinking that the date on the contract is the date you wanted me to speak and that I do not get to just choose a date that is convenient for me, nor change my mind if something more interesting comes up.

Chaos

November 27th, 2012
8:34 am

Psh….waiting until marriage to have sex, while viewed by some as noble. I see it more like a crap shoot. A healthy sex life is vitally important to a marriage.

Making damn sure Tab “A” fits into Slot “B” before you make your relationship permanent is smarter than taking the risk that sex is horrible and you did not find out before tying the knot and now you are stuck with horrible sex for the rest of your life. To each his own, I suppose.

JOD

November 27th, 2012
8:41 am

Let’s be realistic…if men got pregnant, there would be birth control in beer. It would also be free. I kid, of course, but only a little.

I’m glad to have a few years to build into this – it’s a thorny one for sure. All of the comments are very interesting.

OT: Am I the only one who had this page load totally different than usual, as some kind of mobile reader?

Jeff

November 27th, 2012
8:43 am

MJG, creating a BC pill for men in no way implies changing the BC habits of women. We don’t take bc off the shelves for women just because some of them have been irresponsible and occasionally deliberately gotten pregnant and impacted a man’s life forever.

If you had a teenage boy and had the option to put him on a BC injection the way we can females, everyone with a teenage boy would do it in a heart beat.

Interesting you mention contracts, because that’s exactly how i tend to look at things based on previously owning a business…..we made an agreement and you expected me to live up to my end of it, why do you not think you have to live up to your end? Do you think me doing something for you was always convenient (not you as MJG, you as a client) for me? I see it over and over in all parts of life and am stunned at the volume of people who think its perfectly acceptable to renegotiate any agreement at any time if it is no longer in their best interest. A symptom of no longer living in a society where “the only thing a man has is his word” type of maturity.

motherjanegoose

November 27th, 2012
9:07 am

@ Jeff.. I am for the b/c injections. I have spoken, at length, with my son about this as he is in the Pharmacy. We recently discussed the over the counter birth control pill option too.

To me, society is growing more lax about responsibilities, actions and consequences. Cause and effect is smoky. People walk away from marriages, families, jobs, mortgages, car payments and perhaps a pregnancy too. I know there are circumstances that ARE VALID but commitment/follow through is not as popular as it used to be. I am not judging and cannot know all the details involved.

I agree with you about a lax society. Many of my clients have said, to me, “if you say you are going to be here…we KNOW you will be here.” Integrity is very important to me and I have drilled this into my children. They are in the minority of young adults who are committed to do what they said they were going to do. This has been an advantage, with their employers. I have not bailed them out on things they were expected to do but did not really want to fulfill their commitment. They did waht they promised or negotiated themselves.

I find some people to be a tad selfish…they want others to be committed to their word but do not consider it important personally. This is why I carry a PAPER signed contract with me. I have a $500.00 cancel clause in speaking agreements. I once had someone who had lost their funding and asked if that was negotiable…um…no. This would be like me accepting another venue, that paid more, after I agreed to yours and backing out…it could happen. When I sign a contract, I will be there unless I am in the hospital or dead…haha!

BessBear

November 27th, 2012
9:20 am

Techmom – do you think you could trust a guy who says they are taking some type of birth control pill and therefore won’t get you pregnant? Or do you think your daughter should trust her boyfriend? Unfortunately, it comes down to women can only trust themselves for birth control.

Phil from Athens

November 27th, 2012
9:56 am

“Am I the only parent here who still thinks that KIDS SHOULD NOT BE HAVING SEX??? ”

No, but unfortunately most parents, or lack of them, are too stupid and lazy to explain the consequences of having sex. Just look at how successful shows like Teen Mom are. These shows exploit and glamorize young girls and stupid parents. Today’s attitude is “well that’s just the way things are now.”

Phil from Athens

November 27th, 2012
9:58 am

“Abstinence only is NOT the way to go.”

Nope, but when it’s used it works 100% of the time.

Phil from Athens

November 27th, 2012
10:02 am

“quick show of hands of everyone on this blog who waited until at least 20 to have sex….”

I didn’t until marriage. Why, because I knew if I got a girl pregnant my dad would have beat the living hell out of me. I remember friends making fun of me for not nailing every girl I dated but what’s ironic is that most of them have already been divorced, are on food stamps or never graduated from college. Is that the norm? No, but I knew the consequences and saw first hand what happened when I saw girls get pregnant and have to drop out of high school. Some of the “popular kids” are now living in poverty or living with their parents.

Phil from Athens

November 27th, 2012
10:04 am

motherjanegoose

You’re absolutely right. People break promises everyday and that’s one of the reasons this country is going down the drain.

HB

November 27th, 2012
10:05 am

Sure, BessBear, but wouldn’t that also be true for men? Male birth control is not about taking responsibility away from women — it would give men another means of being responsible for themselves and not have to just trust that a woman never missed a day’s dose, unknowingly took a medication that reduced the effectiveness of the pill, etc.

“Teenagers need to be responsible for their actions. If they decide to have sex outside of marriage, that’s their choice, but they need to realize that making that choice comes with consequences and responsibilities. If they think they’re mature enough to make adult choices, they need to be prepared to take the adult responsibilities that come along with those choices, and yes, that includes dealing with STDs and pregnancies.”

Of course, but that’s what sex ed is about. Part of the adult responsibility that comes with sex is preventing STDs and unwanted pregnancy, not just dealing with it as a consequence. You’re saying that kids should be responsible enough to abstain because sex is for adults, but that if they do choose to have sex, they should not have the means to do so as safely and responsibly as possible because they’re not adults. That makes no sense!

Phil from Athens

November 27th, 2012
10:05 am

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

I’m going to assume, because you haven’t stated otherwise, that you are fine with your kids getting birth control without you knowing it. Most of the columns you write suggest that you are passive about what kids should and shouldn’t do.

Am I right or am I right?

Phil from Athens

November 27th, 2012
10:07 am

“Of course, but that’s what sex ed is about.’

Sex education in public schools is a joke plain and simple.

Phil from Athens

November 27th, 2012
10:08 am

“If you had a teenage boy and had the option to put him on a BC injection the way we can females, everyone with a teenage boy would do it in a heart beat.”

I have a son and I will never force him to take a BC injection like you suggest.

DONNAN OF A NEW ERA

November 27th, 2012
10:09 am

“you are stuck with horrible sex for the rest of your life. ”

Or you could just sleep with a bunch of people and die from an std.

DB

November 27th, 2012
10:26 am

I wasn’t a virgin when I married at 25, but I wasn’t Sleep-Around Sue, either. In one romantic sense, I sorta wish I had waited, but on the other hand, I learned a lot about myself, men, life and relationships — both good and bad — from the small handful of intimate relationships I did have. And, I have absolutely no regrets about my choices. I was a virgin through high school — where I lived, that wasn’t so hard :-) . But I think it was easier, then, even in the era of “free love”. Today, EVERYTHING is sexualized — unless it’s the Cartoon Channel, there is a wisp of sex in almost every TV show. Kids are bombarded from an early age, and the are very few role models that show a young man/woman as successful and happy in life unless they have a BF/GF, and, presumably, a satisfying sex life, glued to their side. (In a side note, I think it’s interesting that the actor who plays the boy one “Two and A Half Men” is now begging people not to watch that “filthy” show, which goes against his religious beliefs.) Would their lives be simpler if they abstained? Surely. No sex, no babies, no STDs, no soul-crushing, messy relationship break-ups, etc., etc.

I have to admit that, even though I consider myself a Christian, I don’t look to the Bible for sex advice. This is a book that has Abraham screwing his wife’s maid, for heaven’s sake, and Lot offering his two virgin daughters to an angry mob, as long as they will leave his house alone. Hmm. That was an era in which girls were married off as soon as they were physically mature — i.e., when they began mensturating — so there wasn’t as much of a period of sexual abstinence as there would be today, when we counsel young people to wait for 10 years or more past their sexual maturity before marriage.

And re: male birth control: No, I wouldn’t trust it AT ALL. Until a man is the one who gets pregnant, bears a child and is held responsible for its well-being , then birth control is the ultimate responsibility of the woman if she doesn’t choose to have a baby.