Should Schools Distribute Birth Control?

Teen pregnancy. It’s an issue that’s always in the forefront of people’s minds. Some people view it as a sin others view it as a tragic consequence of not-so-thought-out actions. Either way, I think we can all agree that teen pregnancy is not something we want to see. So the question becomes how do we combat it? I stumbled across this article about a New York school district that is giving out the “morning after” pill to their female students.

As you can imagine, everyone is freaking out about this. So my question is, like everyone else (I’m super original), does the school have the authority to distribute something like this?

I’m not entirely sure I have a super strong opinion either way. Personally, I think any kind of birth control is a great thing. People (particularly teens) are going to have sex. There’s really not much you can do to stop people. So I can see where the school is coming from. If you can’t beat them, join them (or in this case just make sure they aren’t gonna be popping out babies).

But this is where it gets tricky….does the school have this sort of authority? Is the school encouraging underage sex?  And if this isn’t the answer then how do we combat teen pregnancy?

I’d love to hear people’s opinions on this controversial topic. Do you agree with New York and think that distributing morning after pills to 14 year olds will keep young girls from becoming mothers? (And thus ending the MTV phenomenon known as ’16 and Pregnant’?) Or are you on the other end of the spectrum and think premarital sex is evil and should not be spoken about? Either way, let’s talk about it.

Comments much appreciated,

Anna B.

 

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About spiffybanana24

I'm just an English Education student learning to take things one day at a time.

4 thoughts on “Should Schools Distribute Birth Control?

  1. mattcleland says:

    Adultery is the sin; that’s where all this drama starts.

    And nope. The school has no business in the sexual affairs of its students. Unless you’re a private school and you have a policy about students dating/having sex (which is, I think, weird). But a public school has no business getting involved with that issue.

    People freak out when the government tries to “limit” their sexuality or bodies. But then they turn around and demand that the government support or subsidize their sexual escapades. And that’s hypocritical. If the government has no place telling you what to do with your body, then it has no place giving out birth control.

    If you think it *is* the government’s place to get involved with peoples’ sexuality, then they should indisputably encourage abstinence. We don’t even have to consider this from a moral viewpoint; the age of consent makes it illegal for minors to get it on. And for good reason; children aren’t capable of making important decisions like that. It’s why you need a parent’s permission to do anything. Once students have reached their majorities and are considered capable of making those decisions, then they can get it on. But until then, public schools should support our laws and actively discourage students from having sex — if they should be involved at all.

    But either way, a school has no business passing out abortion pills to teenagers.

  2. kreidern says:

    Hi Anna–you bring up a really good point, and in all honesty I don’t know the answer. It’s such a touchy subject, and both sides of the argument have valid reasons to be upset. However, I think it’s best to ere on the side of realism–there’s no way to shut our ears and eyes and pretend overly-hormonal sixteen-year-olds “just don’t do…it.” Abstinence, though it is the safest and most logical solution, will work for some students, but for the majority of the student body they laugh at you. Not have sex? That’s like asking an ant-eater to poop goat cheese (that’s from the movie 17 Again). Public schools can’t assume that teaching abstinence is the best route and not prepare those students who won’t abide by abstinence. Is giving out birth control promoting sex? Yes, in a way. But it’s promoting SAFE sex, which is way more important than pretending it doesn’t happen. The US is so uptight about what goes on in the bedroom…it’s part of life. Yes, not something you want to advertise to the world because it is very private, but it’s part of human survival and just who we are. People have sex…and they need to get over it.

    And in response to the comment Matt posted–not to totally disagree with you, Matt, I just see it in a different perspective. It is slightly hypocritical to ask government to stay out of hindering sexuality or limiting sexual behaviors, but then asking them to support their sexual escapades. But, this same “hypocritical” behavior is true for a lot of issues–welfare, the second amendment, all the way down to the right to free speech. We freak out if we’re “limited,” but complain when somebody says something mean or brings a gun to campus. This hypocrisy isn’t quite fair, but then again…what’s the solution? We need our rights, and speaking in blatant terms need support when we f**k up, but we also need limits. It’s a dangerous line we play with.

  3. mattcleland says:

    Would we take these “realistic” measures with things like alcohol and drugs? Should we educate student about the importance of using clean needles, if they are going to shoot up? Provide some sterile ones in the nurses office? Should we pass out watered down wine alongside Koolaid in the lunchroom? Because, hey, it’s better that they drink on campus and not have to drive around drunk… right?

    I don’t mean to be rude, but I hate when people paternalize students and then call it “being realistic.” Should I pass out the answers to tests beforehand, to save students the trouble of cheating? Should we give 59.99% on all missed homework assignments because kids aren’t going to do their homework anyway?

    It’s ridiculous. We should have high standards for our students — academically and morally. To do anything less is to breed contempt and disrespect.

    And that right there is why there is no such thing as “safe sex.” You can wear a condom and be on the pill; you can miss any diseases or pregnancies; you can escape any physical harm or abuse (which is more present in adolescent sexual relationships than we would like to admit). But sometimes you can’t escape the emotional pain; the destruction of self-respect or respect for your peers; the heartbreak and sullied self-image. Sexual relationships in teenagers are more often than not doomed to failure. And someone gets hurt.

    Yes. I believe that adultery is a sin. But I’m a sinner no better than anyone else — and probably worse, since I know better. But I don’t support contraceptives in school because I don’t support fostering an environment that downplays the risks associated with sex.

  4. Thanks for the comments guys, I appreciate your willingness to put your opinions out there.

    Matt- While, like I said, I can’t say I have a super strong opinion on this I agree that schools shouldn’t be giving out contraception. It’s one thing for Planned Parenthood to be giving out condoms and another all together for public schools to be giving the morning after pill to 14 year olds. However, one thing that I stick by is that there will always be teenagers having sex. You brought up drugs and alcohol as well and I think the same applies. There will always be teenagers who do drugs and alcohol.
    I’m not saying that we turn a blind eye to it, but when it comes down to it our authority only goes so far. Kids will find a way to do bad things. So my question to you then would be, do you think that we should just strictly teach abstinence in school? How do you think we should go about combating teenage pregnancy?

    Kreidern (cause I’m not sure what your real name is)- I think it’s interesting that you brought up how stingy the US is on the issue of sex. While the media is certainly filled with images and suggestions of sex, it seems to always be a point of contention and criticism. I would assume that these social taboos surrounding sex come from Christianity since the US started as a Christian nation primarily. Do you think this is “realistic” (to use your word)? And what kind of repercussions does it have on the nation’s youth?

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