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Should junior high school girls be given birth control pills?

posted 10/28/2007 1:47:56 AM |
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tagged: sex, straddle

I read about an artical on this almost a week ago and was going to do a blog asking where all of you stand on this issue. Seems like there are some junior high schools that are giving girls birth control pills even without permission and not alerting their parents to know anything about this. I'm a little on the old fashion side and I feel that's wrong to do. I know a lot of parents aren't doing a very good job raising their kids today as to why we got to this point in these times. But if I had a daughter that age there is no way in hell I would want her to be given birth control pills, especially if I'm not aware of it. Kim feels differently about this. But to me that's like saying they have a free pass to have sex. Where do you all stand on this?

Btw, I just got back from Kim's house and she's in better spirits and had a chance to calm down.

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Oct 28 @ 1:50AM  
Damn, two blogs in one night. I haven't done this in a while. Yes, Dayna, I'm a blog attention whore!!!


Oct 28 @ 2:14AM  
I heard something about that on the radio during the week. I guess there is an epedimic up in Maine where middle school girls are getting pregnant at an alarming rate. One particular school has already recieved permission from the city to distribute birth control pills and contraceptives. I have a 12 year old in the 7th grade and I'd freak if I found out he had gotten a girl pregnant. I would rather have the schools hand out preventitives than have a pregnancy. I would want to know about it first. I'm not sure if I did something right or if I did something wrong. My 16 year old has claimed to have sex and said he used a condom. I'm proud of him for that, but I just feel that maybe there was something else I could have done to prevent it. I have had just about every talk imaginable with my kids and it still happened. I just hoope that my 12 year old doesn't try to follow his bid brothers foot steps.

Oct 28 @ 2:15AM  
Personally I'm split on this issue.

If parents aren't doing their job, I'd rather see girls have some resource to access.

Now, having 2 girls myself, I'm not comfortable with my kids being able to access birth control without my knowledge.

Where does that put me? Making damn sure my kids come to me or their dad not the school.

Great question!!

Oct 28 @ 2:59AM  

• This is a hard one.
• I am all the way with the Purple Prophet on this one and I would kudo him if
that were possible for getting it right and saying it so well.
• Parental notice and consent: Yes.
• A license for promiscuity? No. Hysterical nonsense.
• Did it actually happen? We don't really know. Neither does Straddle.
• I suspect that women are more likely to be on the right side of this issue than
men, which is why I was pleasantly surprised by PProphet's comment.
• Sex is pretty personal, but teen-age pregnancy is a huge public health problem
and political problem as well as a personal tragedy.
• But part of the reason it is a problem is that right-wing terrorists make it a
• Therein lies the dilemma about the difference between traditional, conservative
morality and social policy. The solution is to accept and support a social policy
that is necessary, but will remain controversial , and continue to feel
uncomfortable about it -- the same acceptance and discomfort most of us feel
about abortion. And I don't minimize the issue by using the term "discomfort."

• The mistake in this case is the allegation (undocumented and unproven)
that a school system tried to do this secretly.

• And I also find it extremely annoying to be expected to respond to a serious problem
based on "I read about an article on this almost a week ago ..."
Not even the article itself, but "about" an article. This could be more internet bullshit.

• Every time I try to track down one of these fake bombshells,
I end up on the urban legends and right-wing myths websites
with detailed histories of how these things are made up and put into circulation by the bad guys.

Oct 28 @ 3:35AM  
This is a very tough question but honestly if I had a daughter and for whatever reason she didnt feel she could come and talk to me about wanting to be sexually active I would like to know there was someone looking out for her. I just hope the school as well as handing out the pill to them is discussing aids and stds with them and providing condoms as well. The pill only does part of the job it won't stop them from dying.

Oct 28 @ 3:35AM  
A kudo to you shawn for just a thought provoking and relevant blog.

Oct 28 @ 3:45AM  
Shawn, I think this is a good question. Of course there are going to be many different opinons. Personally I would have freaked if I had discovered that my daughter was on the pill at 14. But I would have freaked a heck of a lot more to discover that my 14 year old daugher was pregnant.
I feel if they are going to have sex, they are going to do it, whether someone gives them the pill or not. I have seen 13 year olds pregnant. I cried over that. I can't imagine how badly it would hurt if it were my own daughter, or even grand daughters. So no, I don't feel it is giving them permission.
And they can walk into any Planned Parenthood and get the pill. Without a parents permission. Or the parent ever being notified.
Apparently I missed what Kim is upset about, but I hope she's better now. And everything is well.

Oct 28 @ 4:35AM  
There are lots of little arguments that crop up with this but for the most part they center around when we as adults to agree or don’t agree that a child can think for themselves. It’s one of those questions that, is so individually centered on each child that there is no real clear answer to when someone is actually ready. Going a little further into it, its only further complicated and colored by the vast differences in our inherited moralities. However, biology functions regardless of any moral discrepancies that exist within our own, mindful; society. So to me handing out any type of protection is more of a safety measure for those who might do it rather then saying go ahead and screw like little bunnies to all of them. It’s just my opinion but I always thought having functioning sex organs was the actual free pass to have sex…

Oct 28 @ 4:50AM  
A very touchy subject. My feeling is that neither schools or anybody else has the right to give a child and form of birth control without the parents knowledge. If parents would only start explaining the facts of life to children as they approach puberty, gain their trust and let them know you have an open door policy when it comes to talking about sex. Once they know they can come to you wanting to talk about sex and feel comfortable talking about it with you they will also feel comfortable talking about birth control. Listen to what they are saying. If a light goes off and you think he/she is going to start having sex take the responsablity of getting them on birth control yourself before it's to late

Oct 28 @ 7:33AM  
My daughter is 12. I have always been upfront with her about her body and sex. These girls think they are grown up more than when I was a kid. What is sad is they are having sex already at such a young age. I have told my daughter to wait until she is at least 17..I am hoping she will follow my advice.

What is funny is everytime we go to wal-mart(not as often as you and Kim)
and walk by the condoms I remind her to always practice safe sex. She say's "Mom I am not having sex" I said good...

As for the school's being able to pass out the pill without the parents knowing I would not like. With all the paper work they send out at the start of the year to fill out they could send home a form for that topic also..

Oct 28 @ 7:49AM  
WOW what a question. Since I have no children I can honestly say I'd kill my daughter if I found out she was having sex at 14. MOM had put the fear of god in us girls like Aly I would try to explain and let her know the damage she could do to her poor body at that early age, and yep to wait till she was at least 17.

Oct 28 @ 8:07AM  
I raised my two nieces. Once they started really "digging" boys, I put them on birth control. I figured it was better to be safe than sorry. I do not see where birth control is giving them a lisence to drive so to speak. However, one thing it is pretty sure to do is not allow them to get pregnant! Unfortunately, a lot of parents do not do their job, do I think this is wrong? No more than parents who don't face the facts and do their jobs as parents...

Oct 28 @ 8:12AM  
I used to work at a public health facitity. After an exam, girls were provided the birth control of their choice. We were not required by KY law to notify their parents, however, if they were under the age of 16, we were required to report to social services, in case any future claims of abuse or neglect were filed. The only problem was very young girls 13-16, are not very good at taking their pills on a daily basis. It is a very sad day when you see a 13 year old girl preg, her life and his life change forever.
My daughter was on birth control at 15, my logic was, I didnt want her to be in a car wreck, but if she was I wanted her to have on a seat belt, by the same token, I didnt want her to have sex, but if she made a mistake and did, I wanted her to be protected. Children make mistakes, in every area, including sex.

Oct 28 @ 8:26AM  
I can see both sides, but I lean more to the way you feel.

I feel that they should be teaching abstinence rather than just telling them to go out and fuck around. Also, MANY females are allergic in one way or another to the pill. I for one could never take it.... so what if one of these young girls die because of swallowing this pill.... what if they have family history that they don't know about?

On the other side of the fence.... I agree that it may save a few babies having babies.....

I am off my soapbox now!

Oct 28 @ 8:45AM  
I think they should be required to notify the parents- especially if the girl is underage!
I think this sends a mixed message to kids- some will interpret it as, "Hey, I'm on the pill, I can start having sex!" Others will interpret it some other ways....

Definitely a tough decision. As a parent I really hope that other parents would be doing their jobs as parents, but unfortunately, that isn't always the case!

Oct 28 @ 8:57AM  
Great blog, and great opinions, so here is one more. No matter what great values one instills on their children, or how open and honest they are about talking about sex, that may not help once a kid is ready to experiement with sex, there are many different reasons that come into play. Perhaps hormones take over, and then there is peer pressure as well. I believe that once a child (usually 13-14) starts getting noticeably interested in the opposite sex, that they should be put on the pill, or given a stash of condoms to have on hand. I think that the schools should do that, BUT with a parental consent form that states the parents will be told if the child is under 16. This is just my opinion, and no I dont have kids, but I have helped raise my nieces and nephews, one niece is 15 now and at that scarey age!! Good luck everyone and have a great Sunday!

Oct 28 @ 10:23AM  
The whole story is below. Parents must consent for the child to go to the clinic, but after that it's the child's decision on whether to get birth control after a complete exam by a Doctor. Personally I think if your child asks to go there, then they NEED IT!!!

(WBZ) BOSTON Students at a middle school in Portland, Maine will be able to get birth control pills and patches at their student health center after the local school board approved the proposal Wednesday evening.

The plan, offered by city health officials, makes King Middle School the first middle school in Maine to make a full range of contraception available to students in grades 6 through 8, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

There are no national figures on how many middle schools, where most students range in age from 11 to 13, provide such services.

Some parents in Massachusetts worry that distributing birth control at school would encourage sex, not educate kids about it.

"I think that's promoting more promiscuity, so I don't think it should be available to them," one parent said.

"I think it's absolutely too young," said another mother. "But I think it's out of everybody's hands. I think that things are going on and they have to be taken care of."

A Massachusetts Education Department survey found nearly one in three students 15 years old and younger are sexually active. The Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy preaches abstinence but believes, even for middle schoolers, it can fall on deaf ears.

"Certainly in the best scenario the parents would be involved in this decision making," said Lydia Watts of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy.

"What we're concerned about are those young people who are most at risk of teen pregnancy and those are young people who don't have that kind of relationship with their parents."

Prescribing birth control has not been an issue for middle schools in Massachusetts. But the State Department of Education has recommended that school committees consider providing contraception in high schools, though it is not mandated.

At King Middle School, birth control prescriptions will be given after a student undergoes a physical exam by a physician or nurse practitioner, said Lisa Belanger, who oversees Portland's student health centers.

Students treated at the centers must first get written parental permission, but under state law such treatment is confidential, and students decide for themselves whether to tell their parents about the services they receive.

Five of the 134 students who visited King's health center during the 2006-07 school year reported having sexual intercourse, said Amanda Rowe, lead nurse in Portland's school health centers.

Oct 28 @ 10:39AM  
All I can say is MY GOD!! What is this world coming too when children need birth control at those tender ages!! Lord I had my daughter at 32 and the pain of labour is not something I want to go through again (27hrs). Some have easier ones and others have worse! Definitely not something an 11 yr old child should be going through. Not sure on how I feel on this issue, it scares the crap out of me just the thought. But if it will prevent unwanted pregnancies, then I guess it's something that needs to be done. I think kids these days (perhaps not 11,12 year olds, but ones in their late teens early 20's think its cool to have a baby!!! If they only knew life as they know it ceases!! Your freedom is gone, lord you can't even go to the bathroom by yourself, can't just say 'oh I'm running to the store' it just ain't happening without alot of fanfair!


Oct 28 @ 11:19AM  
My answer is this if it's offered, it's offered......I mean they pretty much make up their minds on sex, whether it's a matter of parents doing their job or not. I mean I did.........I just was not in Junior High thinking sex. I did think of kissing, and saying how cute a guy's butt was, but not actually having sex.......that came around 15 or 16....that's when I wanted to explore that option, I went into the family planning with my cousin (she was getting birth control for prom night sex) I got on pills without consent or parental knowledge..........but I still did not have sex of my own accord til 19. So I say all this to say that they are the judge and jury of that decision. I have an 11 and 13 year old. I am not ready for them to be sexually active..........but I don't hold the patent on it either....... Just my .02! Thanks Straddle........good blog!!

Oct 28 @ 12:49PM  
I can see the validity of almost every comment. I especially relate to the one made by whisperingcomet. Regardless of what the real world and parent/child relationship should be, reality can be far different. Many kids, especially those in junior high are not going to let their parents know what they are doing sexually. Once they experience that greatest of all feelings, the door is open.
As whisperingcomet points out, girls often forget to take their pills, so I advocate having the patch implanted so that the parent doesn't have to worry about it.

Oct 28 @ 12:58PM  
And who is going to be responsible if she has a bad reaction from being allergic to the pill. Not all women can take them. It would be a shock for a parent to get a call someday saying their daughter was in the hospital from a reaction to the pill when they didn't know she was on it. PARENTS HAVE TO BE INFORMED

Oct 28 @ 1:48PM  
EPIDEMIC..... can you please explain to me what in the world people are thinking giving condoms and birth control pills to 12 yr olds? At the risk of sounding a liitle like the late Jerry Falwell I am going to be blunt and say this. If you take the creator out of the creation then all hope is lost for the creation... you lose morals and values that need to be instilled desperately in our youth today..

I guess like Dr. Victor Frankenstein we can't complain and cry when the monster we created breaks loose.....

Oct 29 @ 3:41PM  
Yes, Dayna, I'm a blog attention whore!!!
Yes I see that Shawn, and as much as I lub ya, I'm trying to catch up to you, to the dismay of come I am sure lol, so could you slow your ass down please.........I am just catching up on blogs after being off the computer all weekend but am glad Kim is in better spirits..... Now for your question...........

If an abortion clinic can give the child an abortion without notifying her parents.....than I think birth control pills is a moot point........I think that a doctor should be involved in any decision regarding birth control...........and yes holy hell would have broke loose if they had done that with my daughter........but as long as teenagers can have abortions with no parental involvement.........than i think birth control pills is the lesser of evils.................JMHO

Nov 6 @ 10:42PM  
I think we should give them in school through the school health system.. With a screening test with a complete battery of STI tests..

The thing is as a teacher I have seen the teenage pregnancy thing become generational. multi-generational.. It hurts the kids because mom had the kid at such a young age then she is held responcible then when the "baby" gets into school the "Mom" goes crazy and relives her wasted teen years going out and kiddo gets left behind only to repete the mistakes of her mother... having a baby at a young age then it becoms a huge problem for everyone. As more come to the welfare rolls which no one likes to fund and education is lost becoming why do teachers fail the students and on and on. There is nothing that is going to prevent Suzy from a good home or Suzy from a poor home all it takes is a neglectful home and then Suzy is going to go with the flow..

What we can prevent is the carnage be it her having a baby or her having an abortion, or in some cases the kid hurting herself or throwing the baby away in the trash somewhere.. One of my daughters aquantances threw herself down a flight of stairs to try to miscarry only to hurt herself she did not feel safe telling her parents she was pregnant.. She was in jr high school which comprised of 7,8,9th grade.

What really scares me though beyond pregnancy is the kids who have contracted HIV from having no contraception many kids in my old town did just this the city health department sent notes to the school to give to all the students and some were given out only to be taken back up. The district decided that the city needed to send the letters to the parents.. These letters never got sent and so the HIV epidemic has just only gotten worse.. This was in 2005 I had a copy of the lettter only because I was doing my student teaching at the time.. I was not suprised by the letter nor the districts reaction... I worked for the district last year I asked questions (all denied that there was a problem) and know a kid that contracted HIV in the same jr high that my daughter's went to.. Scarey to be sure..

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Should junior high school girls be given birth control pills?