Thursday, October 18, 2007

Maine Middle School Will Dispense Birth Control Pills

King Middle School in Portland Maine will dispense birth control pills and patches in addition to the condoms they've been providing at the school's health center. I'm all for it. However, the article doesn't say if the students will get some sort of talk from the physician about how birth control works and the fact that they don't protect against STDs and all that jazz. I trust that middle schoolers would know to get contraception if they're going to have sex, but I don't think they're going to know how to use it effectively on their own (that's probably true for most people). I saw this story on the 12 o'clock local news on CBS2. What followed the story was pretty funny.

Dana Tyler: These are young kids we're talking about. And a lot of parents are wondering are there any health concerns here especially when it comes to birth control pills.

Jim Rosenfield: Aside from the moral questions, what about health concerns? Dr. Holly Phillips joining us now with some answers. Holly?

Dr. Phillips: Well, those are some legitimate questions. These are young children. But at this time, birth control, especially long-term oral contraception, is considered safe for the vast majority of women. And it's the most effective from of contraception other than abstinence. In terms of risk, many women ask about breast cancer, but any possible link is still quite controversial. And if you have a family history of any cancer, you should talk to your doctor before starting the pill. Blood clots are a risk for certain women, especially smokers. And finally, the biggest health risk for young girls is that the pill doesn't protect against any sexually transmitted diseases. So that's really one of the main concerns, especially since this group is so young.

Rosenfield: Im just wondering does this move by the school board encourage, send a message to young girls "Okay! It's okay to have sex"?

Phillips: Okay. From a medical perspective, we have to say no. There's some really good research that shows girls are less likely to ask for contraception if they need parental consent, but they're not less likely to have sex. So we certainly don't want to encourage them, but if they're going to do it, we should protect them.

Ding! But why, oh why, is there always one word missing when talking about any kind of birth control? No, it's not kumquat. Well, actually, kumquats are usually missing in a discussion about contraception, but that's not the word I'm thinking of in this case. The word is "boy!" Jim Rosenfield and a lot of other douche nozzles are worried that if girls get birth control pills, the girls will get the message that it's okay for girls to have sex (oh, we wouldn't want that message to get around too damn quick, would we?!). Who are these girls going to have sex with after getting birth control? Themselves? Some may argue that since it's the girls that will be taking the contraception, we don't have to talk about the boys. But contraception prevents pregnancy, and who gets girls pregnant? Boys! Don't you think that if all the boys find out that the girls are getting birth control pills, one of the most effective ways of preventing pregnancies, the boys are gonna be like "Score!"? I think so. They're gonna be like "Double score!" Secondly, I'm tired of people saying that 11- and 12-years-old is too young to have sex when talking about giving minors birth control. That's an opinion, an opinion I hold, at least from a social standpoint, but it doesn't progress the discussion about birth control. The point isn't that they're too young to have sex. The point is that they're old enough to get pregnant and get girls pregnant. And isn't that what contraception is all about?

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