Should birth control pills be administered to teenagers without prescriptions?


In the past years and now, there is this ubiquitous method of preaching abstinence which takes the form of sex-ed programs. This method of awareness toward early pregnancy has not been effective and has only incentivized early unprotected sexual intercourse amongst teenagers. 

In May 2013, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) released an official position paper concluding that the time had come for birth-control pills to be sold over the counter. They concluded that the most effective method to prevent more teenage mothers would be to support the alleviation of early pregnancy amongst students. Encouraging over-the-counter birth control pills for teenagers without the presence of a teacher or a prescription from a doctor.

In 2017, a total of 194,377 babies were born to women aged 15–19 years old, for a birth rate of 18.8 per 1,000 women in this age group.  This is another record low for U.S. teens and a drop of 7 percent from 2016. Birth rates fell 10 percent for women aged 15–17 years old and 6 percent for women aged 18–19 years old.

“Over-the-counter birth control should be available to all girls and it’s not just about the stigma, baby, or education,” said, Senior Fuad Deen. “First of all, there are many health risks  for the infant and the mother  associated with teen pregnancy.” 

It is commonly known that teen pregnancy correlates with lower annual income, high-school drop-out, and substance abuse. Moreover, from a pragmatic standpoint, the financial burdens that teen pregnancy places on our healthcare system at large are immense. With this corollary data in mind, why would we not want to give adolescents every possible form of protection? I think it is ridiculous to say that birth control will encourage sexual activity; People will have sex regardless of their access to birth control, and it is foolish for individuals to think they can demand that all Americans abide by their moral standard of no premarital sex. 

Moreover, Sex is a personal decision, something that the government should have no part in. Young females should be making their decisions based on their own emotional preparedness and discussions with trusted adults. Ultimately, our society has a problem with labeling female sexuality as “promiscuous,” when, really, it is natural. Being a virgin or having sex does not make you any better or worse of an individual. All we can hope is that we can give women and girls (and men and boys too, let’s not forget that they should also be responsible and part of the discussion when it comes to birth control) the tools to make the best decision for themselves. 

A High School junior in Lagos Nigeria stated that “I’ll be honest with you, If I had access to over-the-counter birth control prescription, I wouldn’t be where I am today.” Hauwa Oseni, a mother of one added that “My mom is the cause of all of this, she wouldn’t let me get these pills without her company with me.”