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Observations: Birth control pills can benefit underage females

The Observations' columnist believes young women should receive oral contraceptives without parental consent due to their health and other benefits.

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The Observations' columnist believes young women should receive oral contraceptives without parental consent due to their health and other benefits.

Aryanna Rodriguez, Observations columnist

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Birth control pills are a contraceptive pill that is used by females to prevent future or unwanted pregnancies. The prescription for these oral contraceptive pills is available to teens that are 18 and older in some states. In other states, they are not available to teens under the age of 18 unless they have parental consent.

Some individuals do not agree with teens having access to birth control pills without parental consent because of the risks that these pills have. Also, they argue that underaged girls should have parental consent to receive birth control because of the lack of information teens parents might have about their personal life. However, I believe birth control pills should be available to teens under the age of 18 without parental consent because it prevents the number of unwanted pregnancies in teens, the number of abortions, and has many health benefits.

In my opinion, there are many health benefits these oral contraceptives have that outweigh the potential risks of birth control pills. Women not only use these pills to prevent pregnancy, but also because it is said to help with preventing acne, in regulating menstrual cycles, and because it reduces the risk of getting cancer.

According to Hannah Tomlin, using birth control could reduce a woman’s risk of developing cancer. Her research has shown that these pills reduce the risk of getting some cancers, specifically uterine, ovarian, and colorectal cancer. Tomlin demonstrates that “women who took birth control at any time during this period were at a 12 percent lower risk of developing cancer than the women who did not take the pill.”

In addition, these pills are said to help with acne as well. Hormones are present in birth control pills and are what help prevent acne in teens. In “The Best Birth Control Pills for Acne Treatment in Women,” Dr. Elain reveals that birth control pills help reduce acne in women and studies done have demonstrated a 40-70 percent reduction in acne blemishes. Since acne is common in teens this health advantage is something that young females benefit from.

In addition, these pills help with women’s’ menstrual cycle. According to Rachel Grumman, birth control helps by regulating females’ menstrual period. Grumman indicates that according to gynecologists the pill could stop their bleeding or delay it. The health benefits that are provided by the oral contraceptives are only one reason teens should have access to them.

Apart from the health benefits birth control pills offer, there are statistics in unwanted pregnancies and abortions that are lowered by these oral contraceptives. I strongly believe that birth control pills lower the number of abortions and unwanted pregnancies in female teens. According to Girma Sourafel and David Paton, studies showed that the “law would lead to more than 5,000 additional births and 1,600 additional abortions per year among minors in Texas.” This information helps prove that birth control pills help decrease the number of abortions and pregnancies done. Also, it demonstrates that the rates are increased by lack of availability.

“Does Parental Consent for Birth Control Affect Underage Pregnancy Rates,” states that the lack of birth control pills to young female would imply an increase in abortions and unwanted pregnancies by about 20 percent. This demonstrates that birth control pills are important in helping decrease abortions and unwanted pregnancies.

Unwanted pregnancies and abortions are currently very common in underaged females and continue to happen more than they should. There are numerous girls that get pregnant without the intention of getting pregnant because of protection they do not have access to.

A lot of times underage girls do not have access to birth control pills because of the lack of parental consent. However, I believe the lack of parental consent that teens have may not always be because they don’t want to speak to their parent or guardian. As mentioned by David Hench in his column, there are some young adults that cannot rely on the parents for guidance and that should be taken into consideration. If teens had access to these oral contraceptives without having to ask their parents for their consent, they would have a more secure form of protection.

As said in “Does Parental Consent for Birth Control Affect Underage Pregnancy Rates,”, Texas requirement for parental consent for state-funded birth control to minors would lead to a large increase in underage pregnancies. These statistics and studies go to show that it is best for underaged females to have access to birth control pills to better prevent unwanted pregnancies and abortion.

Along with the lack of parental guidance that some teens may have there are some teens that simply do not feel comfortable talking about oral contraceptives with the parents or legal guardians. It is important for underaged females to keep their legal guardians updated with what they take. Still, it is not bad if parents don’t know that the birth control pills are being taken by their underaged daughter. It would not be good if the pills were a threat, but these oral contraceptives come with many benefits.

In my perspective, there many reasons that birth control pills or a prescription should be available to underage teens without parental consent. The benefits that the oral contraceptives have outweigh any risk that may be in these pills. Along with the benefits are the statistics on abortions that unwanted pregnancies in female teens that birth control pills prevent and decrease. Without birth control pills there would be a lot more teens in a state that they are not ready to be in. Also, birth control pills have advantages that help young females feel comfortable and better.

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