In a society where teenagers engaging in sexual activity is continuously rising, it is important to be open minded about the education and care that goes into these teenagers about sexual education. Two options for these teens are abstinence only education, and allowing contraceptives to minors. Each of these methods receive backlash because of ethical reasoning. Parents do not want to hear about their children being taught about contraceptives and gaining access to them, while critics of the “abstinence-only” education believe that it is not effective on its own.
Of those who do not believe abstinence only education is solely effective, many are supporters of introducing a broader education that treats abstinence as a way to avoid pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections(STIs), but to also include information about contraceptives and condoms (Alford, 2007, par. 1). In two separate polls done by the Kaiser Family Foundation, National Public Radio, and Harvard University, and the National Women’s Law Center and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, each received similar results: 85% of Americans believed that schools should teach a comprehensive curriculum on sexual education. Along with the 93% of Americans that want youth to wait for sexual activity until marriage, 99% want programs to include information on STIs and HIV. Another 83% want students to learn how to put on a condom (Alford, 2007, par. 9).
Based on information and statistics that denounce the effectiveness of abstinence only education, the writer believes that students and teens should have a better access to contraceptives. As stated under the Fourteenth Amendment, a teenager has the right to access contraceptives. Additionally, teenage contraceptive use has been related to a decrease in teenage pregnancy, and there is a higher risk of health issues involved for those who are or become sexually active without using contraceptives.
As stated in the Amendments of the Constitution of the United States, adults have equal rights, and rights to privacy. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that minors are also protected by the same Amendments (Lu, 2010, par. 5). In an article written by Vanessa Lu, Lu writes about the age restriction on an emergency contraceptive pill. In the article, Lu addresses, “The State recognizes that access to reproductive health care is essential for adolescents” (par. 9). It is a teenager’s decision if they actively engage in sexual behavior. For those who do become sexually active, they need to have access to contraceptives, for their own benefit.
Lu also mentioned that the Supreme Court does not regulate the “morality of minors” when it comes to teenage sexual activity (Lu, 2010, par. 18). This statement shows that the State, which funds abstinence-only programs, does not show particular interest in the courts. The statement is important because it exposes the actual relationship between the abstinence programs and the government. ...