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Mandatory Contraception

  1. May 15, 2010 #1

    russ_watters

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    I wasn't sure were to put this, but I'm interested in the ethical ramifications, so I figured philosophy might be the right place...

    Teen pregnancy is one of the larger social problems facing the US and to a lesser extent most of the rest of the western world. It creates poverty by preventing the parents from getting an education and good jobs and making it difficult to raise the kids.....and that then makes it cyclical. I'm not a parent yet, but I can imagine the #1 fear of a parent of a teenager has to be that they will get someone/become pregnant.

    So my question is: As a parent, why not have your child be given an implantable contraceptive such as Norplant? It's good for 5 years and it protects against one of the biggest life-ruining events that a parent otherwise has little control over preventing.

    I have heard from female friends that the issue of giving birth control to teenage daughters is highly contentious. A girl wouldn't ask for it unless she is/wants to be sexually active (though I know there is a hormonal benefit as well). So this puts the daughter and the mother both into an awkward situation and makes it more difficult to make rational decisions on the issue. Basically, I've heard of mothers saying, in effect "no, you're not going to get birth control pills because you aren't going to have sex".

    So since there exists an implant with a 5 year lifespan, you could give it to a girl at age 13 or 14, depending on the girl, with the reasonable assumption that she's probably not having sex now, but probably will sometime in the next 5 years (and after that 5 years, she'll be an adult and can get it herself). That way, we can eliminate the uncomfortable conversation and the risks associated with waiting.

    Opinions?
     
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  3. May 15, 2010 #2

    Evo

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    I think that is an excellent suggestion. There is no reason why a teenage girl would need to get pregnant and every reason to want to prevent accidental pregnancy.

    Of course you'll have parents that wish to hide their heads in the sand and pretend that their children do not have sex.

    I was lucky, both of my girls came to me when they decided to become sexually active and asked for birth control, which I was more than happy to ok with their doctor.
     
  4. May 15, 2010 #3

    Pythagorean

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    I don't think the head in the sand is as much of an issue for social conservatives as "if I give them birth control, I'm giving them permission."
     
  5. May 15, 2010 #4

    Evo

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    Yeah, that's so stupid.

    Good example. A girl my daughter knew from school. Nice, wealthy family, their kids could do no wrong. My daughter and her friends mostly avoided that girl, not too bright, did drugs, and went after bad boy types.

    After 2 unsuccesfful suicide attempts (ages 14 & 15) ansd stays in mental hospitals. It was her third suicide attempt where she jumped out of her 2nd floor bedroom window and broke her leg that they discovered at the hospital that she was pregnant, on top of being mentally ill and and on drugs. Her parents were always in denial. What does it take?
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  6. May 15, 2010 #5
    Or really smart. One or the other.
     
  7. May 16, 2010 #6

    Kerrie

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    Contraception such as Norplant doesn't prevent disease. This can ruin a person's life just as much as an unplanned pregnancy. Also, I have known several women to actually get pregnant on Norplant more than any other female contraception. The one thing with birth control is, one type doesn't serve all. As a parent of a 13 year old daughter, I feel I have the obligation to preach abstinence before granting my blessing on birth control. I don't deny she will become sexually active in the near future, and am prepared to get her contraception when that time comes.

    And what about the teenage boys? It seems that our society is focused on protecting our daughters, but what about our sons? They can get caught up in the teenage pregnancy trap too, often becoming disconnected with a child when they are children themselves, and this guilt is carried with them for life. I feel it's important to have the same open communication with them as our daughters.
     
  8. May 16, 2010 #7
    Sounds borderline fascist to me.

    And you'd never be able to implement it. People get very upset about anything that has to do with procreative rights... the Catholic church would be against it because its unnatural, social conservatives who think it gives children license to have sex would be against it (they'd rather their daughters get cervical cancer than admit they might have sex), and people with libertarian inclinations would oppose it too... as you're basically taking away the 'right to procreate' from people, and putting it in the hands of government. Who determines how old is old enough? Is it 18,19, 21? Sounds like a can of worms.

    Also, it doesn't address the more serious problem of disease.
     
  9. May 16, 2010 #8

    russ_watters

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    I certainly understand it has limitations and admire your openness about discussing the issue with your daughter, but how will you know "when that time comes"? That's the primary problem I'm trying to address.
    If such a thing existed for boys, I'd certainly be in favor of it.
     
  10. May 16, 2010 #9
    There's also the question of the side effects of the implant.
     
  11. May 16, 2010 #10
    "Mandatory" seems to imply no right to refuse.
     
  12. May 16, 2010 #11

    Char. Limit

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    While it's somwhat of a restriction of rights, I'd support this. Remember that teenagers (at whom this idea would be aimed) already have their rights vastly restricted. What's one more going to hurt?

    So, in short, rights aren't an issue here.
     
  13. May 16, 2010 #12
    LOL, maybe not your rights, but it certainly is a rights issue.

    Forcing perfectly healthy children to injest a drug is a rights issue, both for the child and the parents.
     
  14. May 16, 2010 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    Nobody said anything about a government mandate. The question was directed at parents.
     
  15. May 16, 2010 #14

    Pengwuino

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    I'm pretty sure vaccinations have had the final word on the issue of forcing healthy children to use a drug of some sort.
     
  16. May 16, 2010 #15
    Sounds great. Then we can move on to disabled people and the mentally ill. And how about old people? Old people having babies is even worse than teenagers.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  17. May 16, 2010 #16
    Which equates a pregnancy with contracting a deadly disease... I'm thinking some would object.... quite a few actually.
     
  18. May 16, 2010 #17
    Still a rights issue.
     
  19. May 16, 2010 #18

    Char. Limit

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    Except for the fact that there is still precedent for requiring that children take certain drugs, even if they're perfectly healthy. It doesn't matter if they're for a deadly disease or not, vaccinations still set a precedent.
     
  20. May 16, 2010 #19

    Evo

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    I believe that parents have the decision making abilities for children under 18.

    I agree "mandatory" won't fly, but education aimed at parents is the first place to start.
     
  21. May 16, 2010 #20

    Char. Limit

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    Yes, they do. I'm under 18, so I know. That's where "in loco parentis" comes from.
     
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