ACCESS TO CONTRACEPTION IN SCHOOLS 7
Accessto Contraception in Schools
Manycolleges and public schools began providing students with freecondoms in response to the AIDS crisis in the 1990s. Healthorganizations and family planning groups approve condoms as one ofthe most efficient methods of not only preventing sexuallytransmitted diseases, but also as a means of preventing pregnanciesamong the teens. Further, schools in areas where teen pregnancy ishigh provide free prescription of birth control pills. However,availing contraception in schools has been met with rejection bypeople who, for religious or moral reasons, claim that schools shouldstop providing teenagers from using contraception. The latter groupof people stipulates that provision of contraception encouragespremarital sex, which is totally unacceptable. On the other hand,those in favor of contraception provision say that young people whoactively engage in premarital sex will not abstain for the merereason that they do not have access to contraception. Instead,failure to provide contraception will only put young people at therisk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases or becomingpregnant.
(Perry)confirms that approximately 70 percent of American citizens are infavor of birth control coverage under the Affordable Health Care Act.This is a highly controversial issue that has raised a lot ofconcerns. The conservatives feel that access to contraception hasturned the world into sex. They further claim that contraceptionencourages women to have multiple partners hence increasingincidences of contracting sexually transmitted diseases andimmorality. On the other hand, contraception is an important factorof boosting a woman’s reproductive health and life as well.Accessing contraception is not just a matter of sex, but also a wayof helping women boost their reproductive health and help them indeveloping their education and career. Women have the right to planwhen to give birth and how many children they want to have in theirlifetime. As such, it is unfair denying them a chance to have controlover the number of children they wish to have when contraceptionoffers all that.
Increasedprovision of contraception leads to a simultaneous decrease in thenumber of teenage pregnancies. Many young people engage in sexualactivities despite the education on abstinence. There are parents inschools that would rather have their children abstain from sex thanengage in sexual activities. However, studies confirm that schoolsthat stick to abstinence sex education have a high rate of teenpregnancies as compared to schools that offer alternatives in form ofcontraception. This is compared to how teenagers with overprotectiveparents turn out to be rebellious later in life. Thus, it isimperative for schools and parents to teach their children more onthe importance of protecting themselves from early pregnancies andacquiring sexually transmitted diseases (DiSabito).
Educatingand providing young people with contraception is one of the bestmethods of preventing young pregnancies and sexually transmitteddiseases. Teenagers are often afraid of talking about sex with theirparents, leaving school as the best option for talking about suchmatters. Schools offer students with an opportunity to talk aboutsafe sex without fear. Although some pregnancies are caused bycarelessness, many are caused by lack of contraception. Availabilityof contraception, as thus, may help in preventing unwantedpregnancies among the young. Students who are afraid of their parentsget all the advices they need from schools that encouragecontraception education.
Availingcontraception in schools helps a great deal in reducing abortionsaccordingly. No matter which side one supports in regard to the issueof abortion, there is a broad agreement that reducing cases ofabortion rates is a positive thing (Wetter). Fewer unwantedpregnancies among the young results to fewer cases of abortions andvice versa. This means that if teens keep on becoming pregnant, thenthe cases of abortions will increase. Few teenagers prefer to keeptheir pregnancies because of the associated stigma and lack ofresources to take care of their own children. Abortion is a painfulprocess that many people would not want to pursue. Similarly, someteens may seek unsafe methods of abortions because of the fear offacing their parents for safe abortions. These methods may harm thereproductive system or even cause death in some cases. It is alsonotable that abortion is a controversial issue that has led to theclosure of some abortion benefits and some clinics that offer thesame. A woman’s reproductive health is critical, and there is greatneed to focus on how to maintain it at all costs. Therefore, steeringaway from factors that that may cause abortion is a great step formaintaining a woman’s reproductive health. As such, it is essentialto provide teens with contraception and sex education as a greatmeasure of reducing unwanted pregnancies amongst the young.
Onthe other hand, the opponents of contraception and sex education inschool question whether this should be the role of a school. Theyclaim that the role of schools is to teach students on relevantsubjects and leave the rest to their parents. This argumentstipulates that students should learn about sex from their parentsand other religious leaders (Gedicks). It seems that schools aretaking over the roles of religion and parents by allowing students topractice safe sex. Conservatives are also against the role of sexeducation and use of contraception in schools. They argue thatavailing contraception encourages students to practice pre-maritalsex. Rather than teaching students to abstain from sex, schoolsencourage them by showing them how to do it safely. In turn, manystudents will end up engaging in pre mature sex because they schoolsare giving them an opportunity to do it safely. In this case, it isevident that schools have no problem with teenagers engaging in sexdespite their young age. Likewise, even those who would not haveengaged in sexual practices may be influenced by others having inmind that there are safe methods for doing the same. As such, schoolshave become avenues of promoting sex among young people thus,encouraging immorality. Teenagers view engaging in sexual activitiesas a normal thing and nothing to be afraid of, unlike in the pastwhere teenage sex was highly discouraged. However, this has beendisputed by the proponents of sex education in schools. Manyteenagers do not relate well with their parents hence, do not talkabout sex at all. This leaves schools with the duty of educating theteens on the need to be on the watch out if they have to engage insexual activities.
Itis worth noting that teenagers have, and will always engage in sexualactivities whether sex education and contraception is availed inschools or not. The argument that schools are entirely for learningthings like mathematics and other relevant subjects is misleading.Schools should assume the roles of learning in all fields of lifeincluding safe sex. Public schools are the best places for teenagersto learn about sex because this is where they are. Giving teenagersan opportunity to use condoms does not only prevent early unwantedpregnancies, but also sexually transmitted diseases. Sex educationteaches teenagers to be responsible for their actions. Teenagers aresexually active in nature and will always get involved in earlysexual activities with or without sexual education. Thus, it is onlywise to teach them how to do it safely. Since time memorial,teenagers have been taught abstinence, but more early pregnancies andabortions have always been reported among them. Therefore, it is timefor schools to accept this reality and help those that are sexuallyactive to practice safe sex. It is far much better to encourage safesex by providing condoms rather than waiting till it is too late.This does not mean that schools have forgotten teaching students onthe need for abstinence. Schools are only providing students who aresexually active with the safest method possible. The schooladministrators should not just sit down and watch teenagers becomepregnant or risk getting sexually transmitted diseases when there isan alternative. Therefore, provision of contraception in schools is awise decision that will save many teenagers from unwantedpregnancies, abortions, and the risk of getting infected withsexually transmitted diseases. The rate of teen pregnancies in theUnited States is at its lowest thanks to access to contraception(Feldmann).
DiSabito,Alyssa. "High School-Provided Contraception Is Beneficial."UniversityWire.25 Mar. 2014: n.p. SIRSIssues Researcher.Web. 25 Jun. 2014.
Feldmann,Linda. "US Teen Births Fall to Historic Low: What Has BeenHelping." ChristianScience Monitor.06 Sep. 2013: n.p. SIRSIssues Researcher.Web. 25 Jun. 2014.
Gedicks,Frederick. "Exemptions from the `Contraception Mandate` ThreatenReligious Liberty." WashingtonPost.20 Jan. 2014: n.p. SIRSIssues Researcher.Web. 25 Jun. 2014.
Perry,Susan. "7 out of 10 Americans Support Mandatory Health Coverageof…" MinnPost.com.24 Apr. 2014: n.p. SIRSIssues Researcher.Web. 25 Jun. 2014.
Wetter,Jennie. "Behind Falling Number of Abortions." Newsday.10 Apr. 2014: A.31. SIRSIssues Researcher.Web. 25 Jun. 2014.