Recently, the political and parental world has been involved in a debate concerning whether or not 15-year-olds should be able to purchase ‘Plan B’, otherwise known as the Morning After Pill. If the pending law goes through, teenagers 15-years-old and up can purchase the contraceptive as long as they have an ID proving their age. That means no parental consent will be needed. Some parents see this law as a step forward in preventing teen pregnancy, while other see it as a way for the government to undermine their authority and rights to know what their children are purchasing.
“I think that this could be both good and bad,” said Beth Chambers, a Sacramento citizen and mother of three. “On one hand, it’s good that girls who desperately need the pill can get it easily, even if they don’t want to talk to their parents about it. On the other hand, it’s scary to know that kids could get a hold of these things without their parents knowing about it.”
According to cdc.gov, teen pregnancy in the U.S. reached an all-time low in 2010, when the rate was at 34.2 per 1,000 births. Although the reason behind this decrease is unknown, it is assumed that more and more parents have been talking about sex in the home, and teenagers have been more actively using contraceptives during sexual activity. However, some sources believe that this teen pregnancy low will not last, especially here in California. According to an article published by the Public Health Institute in 2003, the recent decline in California’s teen birth rate is expected to reverse itself within the next decade. The birth rates of teens in Fresno and even Sacramento has grown, according to the California Center for Health Statistics.
In the end, it comes down to the education of our youth. Communication is the key. Many would hope that the teens of our nation would talk to their parents about their situation before purchasing the Morning After Pill. However, if the law passes, teen will have access to Plan B, and that is something that many parents will need to prepare for.
You can learn more about teen pregnancy statistics here.