Prevention Is Key Essay

1024 words - 5 pages

From both an economic and personal standpoint, teen pregnancy brings harsh disadvantages for both mother and child. Although there is a steady decrease of teen pregnancy each year, the United States is accountable for one of the highest teen birth rates in the world when compared to many other developed countries. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, teen pregnancy accounts for nearly 500,000 pregnancies and 234,000 births each year; the highest concentration of impregnated teens are found within the age range of fifteen to nineteen. Pregnancy and parenting for teens are substantial contributors to current high school dropout rates; children born to teen moms are victims to disadvantages in school as well. Further, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy states the following, “The annual public cost of teen childbearing-due to higher costs of public health care, foster care, incarceration and lost tax revenue-is nearly $11 billion.” Taking into account the effect of education achievement of both mother and child, economic well being and the cycle of poverty, and the substantial cost of federal funding, support and encouragement of mandated birth control in the form of an IUD or a birth control implant [a small, “t-shaped” device inserted into the uterus and a matchstick-sized rod that is inserted in the arm, respectively] is called upon for teenage girls ages fifteen to nineteen.
As with the inception of any new implemented concept, there would most likely be harsh criticisms to the proposed plan. People would first claim an infringement of personal rights. Similarly, birth control is strongly opposed by those who follow the Christian religion intently, especially the Catholic Church. In order to accommodate these concerns, a parent or legal guardian would have the right to waive this mandate. When basing an argument on equal rights, one could state this mandate should not only be for females but also for males of the same age range. This is a legitimate argument; however, currently there is not a birth control for men that is similar to women’s birth control. There are current studies for male birth control that work by blocking sperm; if the studies were ever to come to fruition in the form of convenient, widely-available birth control, the mandate could be altered to encompass teenage males as well. For those concerned about possible health risks of these birth control methods, serious effects include blood clots and cysts for the birth control insert and the inability to become pregnant because of improper insertion of the IUD. Nonetheless, the risk for these side effects to occur are extremely low and are rare occurrences. Even after recognizing the risks of these birth control methods, pregnancy still has a larger pool of side effects and a higher percentage of occurrence.
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that three in ten girls will be pregnant at least once before their...

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