Access To Birth Control Policy Brief Oregon State University, Health Law (H434) Policy Brief

2019 words - 9 pages

Katie Greene
Policy Brief rough draft
The topic that I thought would be interesting for the health policy brief was the argument that teenagers should have access to birth control without their parents’ consent. There are many arguments out there stating that consent actually makes it more dangerous because it has potential to encourage teens to be involved in sexual activities. In 2015, there were a total of 229,715 babies that were born to women who were aged between 15 and 19 years old. This boiled down to a birth rate of 22.3 per 1,000 women in this age group alone. (Reproductive Health, 2017) Though these numbers are at an all-time low, evidence suggests that these declines are due to more teens abstaining from sexually activity and more teens who are sexually active, but they’re also participating in using birth control than in previous years. Teenagers don’t become sexually active because they can go to a family planning provider and get contraceptives confidentially. On average, female teenagers in the U.S. are usually considered sexually active for 22 months before their first visit to a family planning provider. (Preventing teenagers, 2003)
In 2015 there was a survey conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy of which stated 68% of teens agreed with the following statement: “The primary reason why they don’t use birth control or protection is because they’re afraid that their parents will find out.” If the numbers are boiled down, that’s nearly seven out of ten teenagers who are fearful of what their parents might think or do when they find out that their children are sexually active. This is an extremely critical time because the U.S. teen pregnancy rate is lower than at any time in the 70 years that it has been recorded. (Select Survey, 2015) This same report mentioned that many parents say that they want their kids to be using birth control or protection if they are having sex, but they just don’t feel comfortable being the ones who share that information. To many parents it feels like they’re almost promoting their kids to have sex, it’s almost like saying, “You want to have sex. You go right ahead. Just be protected. You’ll be fine.” (Select Survey, 2015)
Teen pregnancy can be difficult, unhealthy and can come along with a handful of psychological issues. Mental health conditions in teens mom include; “baby blues” which is where a woman experiences symptoms for a week or two after giving birth which entail mood swings, anxiety, sadness, overwhelm, difficulty concentrating, trouble eating and difficulty sleeping. Another mental health condition is depression, which can occur if a mom has a baby before 37 weeks or experiences complications. Postpartum depression is the worst potential psychological issue which involves more severe and significant issues than the “baby blues.” Teen moms are twice as likely to experience postpartum depression as adults who have babi...


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