The examination generally includes a pap smear (the test for cervical cancer that may be combined with HPV screening), a breast exam, and pelvic exam that, among other things, screens for ovarian cancer and STIs. Social Media – Are Social Networking Sites Good for Our Society? While most birth control methods require the girl to take action, boys should take responsibility, too. Teenage girls can access birth control in some clinics [77], The FDA notes the side effects of the Pill include changes in sexual desire, bleeding between periods, sore breasts, headaches, and nausea. [3] The National Latina Institute of Reproductive Health stated: “over-the-counter access will greatly reduce the systemic barriers, like poverty, immigration status and language, that currently prevent Latinas from regularly accessing birth control and results in higher rates of unintended pregnancy.” [14], Other medically underserved communities, such as LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and others) people, are more than twice as likely to be uninsured (15% of all LGBT+ compared to 7% of non-LGBT+ people) and more likely to face discrimination in the healthcare industry, resulting in less or no reproductive healthcare. [48] Kelly Cleland, MPA, MPH, Research Specialist at Columbia University stated, “When the generics [of Plan B] were about to go onto the shelves I thought there might be a price war that would push the cost down. Only barrier methods of birth control (male and female condoms) provide protection from sexually transmitted diseases, provided they are used correctly. Background. © 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. There are permanent options for birth control if you are certain you do not want to conceive in the future. Death Penalty – Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed? Remember, it took courage for them to approach you and ask you to help them secure their birth control. When teens are supported in their quest for birth control, they may feel as though they have a ticket for sexual freedom. But research about how teenagers behave flatly contradicts this theory. Illegal Immigration – What Are the Solutions to Illegal Immigration in America? A lot of teens do not go to their parents because they are too scared of being disowned when their parent or guardian finds out that he or she is having sex. Teens in a variety of circumstances would be affected if required to obtain parental consent for contraception: A young woman seeking contraception from a clinic—birth control pills, DepoProvera, diaphragm—would be forced to obtain parental permission ; A minor who buys condoms at a pharmacy could be turned away without parental consent Regardless of how old we are, we never stop learning. Among birth control methods, the Pill ranks seventh in effectiveness. [54]. [3], According to Bedsider, a nonprofit online birth control network run by doctors, “As medications go, the pill is very safe—safer than having a baby, driving, smoking, or taking daily aspirin.” [4] Joe Speidel, MD, MPH, Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health explains that pregnancy has a mortality rate about the same as car accidents–one in 8,300–while the risk of dying from birth control is about one in 1,667,000, about the same as dying from being struck by lightning. Of the 72.2 million American women of reproductive age, 64.9% use a contraceptive. Uninsured women, about 11% of US women ages 19 to 64, paid $370 on average for a year’s worth of Pills (about $30.83 per month), which was 68% of their total healthcare spending for the year, and about 51 hours of work for someone making the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Based in Jamestown, Pa., Hannah Rice Myers has more than 10 years of experience as a freelance writer, specializing in the health industry. They predict that if the parents' right to know prevails over the adolescents' right to privacy, the teen-agers will simply abandon birth control and become pregnant in vastly increasing numbers. More or Allowing teens access to various forms of protection may help decrease the amount of teen pregnancies taking place each year in the United States. Typical use of the Pill results in nine unintended pregnancies per 100 women after one year and increases steadily to 61 unintended pregnancies per 100 women after 10 years of typical use. This answer, however, has pros and cons. That’s why the early years of menstruation are exactly the wrong time to take hormonal birth control.” [79], © 2020 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. [55] [56] This lack of communication and lack of awareness of contraindications can put women at risk. School Uniforms – Should Students Have to Wear School Uniforms? All rights reserved. In those states, a pharmacist is required to ask the patient a few questions, notes blood pressure and weight, and dispenses birth control from behind the pharmacy counter. 1. As a woman’s body changes so does her reaction to the pill. [20], Teens may be more likely to use OTC birth control because taking the Pill is a daily routine and is not tied to the emotional pressure attached to sex the way using a condom is. Some are young and under a certain state’s law can’t purchase birth control without a parent’s consent. Why would you take that risk?” [59], If the Pill is prescribed, the doctor or pharmacist can tell the patient about any possible interactions and prevent bad drug combinations. How to cite this page. [21], Krishna Upadhya, MD, MPH, physician, stated: “Decades of research show that a majority of adolescents initiate sex before the age of 18 and that earlier use of contraception reduces the risk of teen pregnancy. The women were more cautious about contraindications (medical reasons not to take a drug) such as headaches, smoking, and potential pregnancy than their doctors were. [15] [16], 54% of unintended pregnancies are associated with not using contraceptives and 41% with inconsistent use. Accessed December 7, 2020. https://birth-control.procon.org/. Opponents say making the Pill over-the-counter would raise the cost of contraception for women, pose a danger to teens’ and women’s health by removing the doctor’s visit requirement, and limit what options are made available. The same survey found that 28% of women using no birth control and 32.7% of women using a less effective form of birth control would use OTC Pills, a market of about 11 million women. OTC birth control pills would also be more convenient, eliminating the need for a woman to make a doctor’s appointment, take time off work, and rearrange her schedule. However, Pap smears are now recommended every three years instead of every year, and only after a woman has turned 21. The FDA-approved contraceptive methods that would not be available over-the-counter include IUDs (both copper and with progestin), the implantable rod, and shots such as Depo-Provera, plus sterilization procedures, all of which the FDA states are more effective than the Pill. Drugs that can interfere with birth control pills include the antibiotic rifampin, many anti-HIV drugs, some anti-fungal medications, some anti-seizure drugs, the stimulant modafinil, many drugs to treat epilepsy, some medications for bipolar disorder, and many herbal remedies including flaxseed and St. John’s wort. OTC Birth Control Pills. Our review strongly suggests that giving teens easier access to various contraceptives will not lead to more sex but would result in fewer unwanted pregnancies… [and] any future over-the-counter pill has the potential to benefit teens.” [21], In a survey of women seeking abortions, 72% said they were pregnant because they could not get the contraception they needed, and 32% reported an institutional reason such as the prescription requirement. Contraindications for birth control pills include women over 35 years old, women who smoke, who have a history of diabetes, heart disease, blood clots, cancer, stroke, liver disease, high blood pressure, migraines (and migraines with aura), or bladder disease. If a child becomes sexually active and has no access to birth control without a parent's consent, they may decide to risk it and end up pregnant or infected with an STD. Gun Control – Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted? As stated above, birth control has been around for a very long time and can take any number of forms. Regardless of your own emotions, give them the same respect they have given you as a parent. If birth control pills were available on pharmacy aisles, purchases would be public and subject to the judgment and gossip of anyone in sight. [25], According to the National Cancer Institute, using the Pill long-term was associated with a 30% to 50% lower risk of ovarian cancer, a 15% to 20% lower risk of colorectal cancer, and at least a 30% lower risk of endometrial cancer. Several states including California, Maryland, Tennessee, and Washington allow birth control without a prescription. They don’t need a parent's consent. Of those, 9.1 million (12.6% of contraceptive users) use birth control pills, which are the second most commonly used method of contraception in the United States after female sterilization (aka tubal ligation or “getting your tubes tied”). Who is the author? One reason teenage girls should be allowed to receive birth control and contraceptives without the consent of their parents is because some child to parent relationships aren’t as strong as they need to be, and communication between both parties are not always existing. It requires regular ovulation, and that can take a few years to become established. Drugs Switched from Prescription to Over-the-Counter Status, Prescription Status of Birth Control Pills around the World. [25], 62.5% of women surveyed said birth control reduces stress, 56.3% said it helps working women continue to work, 49.0% said it helped women get an education, and 48.7% said it led to more stable relationships with partners. Yet all women will be changed by these drugs. [5], And other OTC drugs carry more serious risks: non-steroidal pain pills (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen can cause stomach bleeding; Sudafed can raise blood pressure; Tylenol can cause liver toxicity; antihistamines like Benadryl can worsen glaucoma and kidney disease; and diet pills can cause irregular heart beats and raise blood pressure. 10 states allow a minor to consent if the minor meets other requirements, including being a high school graduate, reaching a minimum age, demonstrating maturity or receiving a referral from a specified professional, such as a physician or member of the clergy. [1] A study found that women who received a one-year supply of Pills were 30% less likely to have an unplanned pregnancy and 46% less likely to have an abortion. [10], Twenty million women live in “contraception deserts,” places with one clinic or fewer per 1,000 women who need government-funded birth control from programs such as Medicare. [38], Uninsured women may also save money by eliminating the insurance companies as middle-man. [69] Some services deliver the birth control to the patient, eliminating the need to stop by a pharmacy. 5 states allow a minor who is or has ever been pregnant to consent to services. This answer, however, has pros and cons. Most women can safely use birth control pills, but pill use may carry some risks and/or side effects. 4. The Pill is currently available by prescription only, and a debate has emerged about whether the birth control pill should be available over-the-counter (OTC), which means the Pill would be available along with other drugs such as Tylenol and Benadryl in drug store aisles. In one study, 98% of women matched their doctors’ medical evaluations about whether they could use hormonal birth control. Most voters agree that it is outrageous to allow a child to undergo any surgical procedure, let alone an invasive, irreversible procedure such as an … [38], Getting birth control by prescription has several associated costs that would be eliminated with OTC status, including co-pays for doctor’s visits and time taken off work to go to the doctor. California, Maryland, and DC even allow 12-month supplies to be dispensed at once, which has been found to reduce unintended pregnancies by 30% and the odds of an abortion by 46%. Since parents would not wish their teens to give birth, then it is reasonable that the teens are allowed to get contraceptives with ease (Grigg-Spall, 2013). Birth control is an essential part of women’s health care, and over-the-counter status would help more women benefit from the ability to control their own reproductive health.” [41], At least 89 major medical and rights organizations support making the Pill OTC, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, the ACLU, National Women’s Law Center, and Planned Parenthood. [54]. Many of her articles have appeared in newspapers, as well as "Curing Epilepsy: Hope Through Research." [70] [71] [72]. [49], Meanwhile, typical use of copper IUDs results in eight unintended pregnancies per 100 women after ten years of typical use, female sterilization results in five, the Levonorgestral IUD and male sterilization result in two, and hormonal implants result in just one. Below are the proper citations for this page according to four style manuals (in alphabetical order): the Modern Language Association Style Manual (MLA), the Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago), the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), and Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (Turabian). The pill’s repression of vital bodily functions that leads to ill health can build in such a way that years later a woman becomes very sick but can not make the connection.” [78], Lara Briden, ND, a naturopathic doctor, emphasized these concerns are bigger for teens: “Making hormones is not easy. But that really hasn’t happened, and I don’t see a sign that it will.” [48], The birth control pill is not the most effective form of birth control. The paper explains why there is a need to allow the teens get contraceptives even without the consent of their parents. [24], A majority of American women–54%–agree that having access to birth control has health benefits. Moving the Pill over-the-counter would eliminate the insurance companies as middle-man between women and the Pill, thus making the drugs less expensive. [78], Holly Grigg-Spall, health author, stated, “Health problems caused by hormonal contraceptives can appear a few months, a few years or longer into use as each woman processes the synthetic chemicals differently. If the child is not given up for adoption, the responsibility typically falls on the parents of the teen girl, the parents of the baby's father, or both. [17] The Guttmacher Institute estimates that $15.5 billion dollars could have been saved if the unintended pregnancies had been prevented. After the drug became OTC, the cost increased to $50 for the brand name and $41 for the generic. [34] [35] [36] 78.7% of women said it was “extremely or quite important” that birth control be easily obtained. [6] [7] Eve Espey, MD, MPH, Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of New Mexico, stated, “Nonsteroidal medicines kill far more people than birth-control pills.” [6]. Medical Marijuana – Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option? Retrieved from https://birth-control.procon.org/, ProCon.org. While more than half thought it was “a good idea” to require family planning clinics to get parents’ consent before prescribing birth control to minors, nearly all expected at least one negative consequence - such as higher rates of unprotected sex, pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers. Animal Testing – Should Animals Be Used for Scientific or Commercial Testing? Here are the proper bibliographic citations for this page according to four style manuals (in alphabetical order): [Editor's Note: The APA citation style requires double spacing within entries. Read more background…, Between 9 and 10.6 million American women use the birth control pill. Each of these are 99%-100% effective. [32] The Border Contraceptive Access Study found that women who got the Pill OTC from a pharmacy in Mexico were adequately self-screening for contraindications. It is estimated that 34 percent of the HIV infected persons are in … [18] A study comparing Pill use between women who obtained Pills with a prescription from an El Paso, Texas, clinic and women who obtained Pills OTC from Mexico showed that the women who got Pills OTC were more likely to continuously use the medication. These obstacles resulted in a 35% increase in contraceptives not being used. [66] [67] The birth control in these cases is covered by insurance. Rice Myers received her master's degree in nursing from Upstate Medical University in 2001. Schools, Birth Control, and Parental Consent. Whether you’re studying times tables or applying to college, Classroom has the answers. Typical use of the Pill results in nine unintended pregnancies out of 100 women after one year of use and increases steadily to 61 unintended pregnancies out of 100 after ten years of typical use. The American college of gynecologists released a paper saying it was time for birth control pills to be able to be sold over the counter without a prescription or consent of a parent. Based on the Word Net lexical database for the English Language. 11-21% of sexually active low-income women studied were more likely to use the Pill if it were available OTC. [25], Research supports these women’s conclusions, because state laws that allowed early access to the Pill (17 or 18 years old, instead of 21) are linked to higher women’s college graduation and employment rates, increased earning power, narrowed gender pay gap, and longer lasting marriages. Plan B, the emergency contraception that uses the same active ingredient as the Pill, was made available over-the-counter in 2006. Some face religious and social backlash for buying pills in full view of their pharmacist and people from their community… Some are young and under a certain state’s law can’t purchase birth control without a parent’s consent. [60] [61], When the Pill is available by prescription only, a doctor usually requires a well woman exam every one or three years in order to obtain or maintain a birth control prescription. Some are transgender or gender-nonconforming… The list goes on.” [63]. [27] [28] [29], Alison Block, MD, physician, said: “My main philosophy as someone who provides reproductive health care is to trust women to make their own decisions. Lawmakers cannot change the status of a drug from prescription to OTC. It would ease the burden associated with the unwanted pregnancies to both the parents and the government.Many parents do not support abortion, and it is known that abortion has more adverse consequences as compared to the pills. [39] [40], The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) stated: “ACOG has long supported over-the-counter access to oral contraceptives. Since 1976, more than 90 drugs have switched from prescription to OTC status, including Sudafed (1976), Advil (1984), Rogaine (1996), Prilosec (2003), and Allegra (2011). Pros: Cons: Long-term method of birth control (protects against pregnancy for 3 years after insertion–it can be removed by a health care provider when you want to or you can wait for 3 years when it’s time for a change of implant) Very effective against pregnancy; May cause light or no menstrual periods; Doesn’t protect against STIs Some teens may mistakenly believe that they are at a lower risk of pregnancy just because they have access to OTC birth control, even though they may be taking it incorrectly. Parents should have an open discussion with their children about sex, self-respect and respect for others. Women have been enjoying the benefits and advantages of the birth control pill since it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on May 9, 1960. [57] [58], Poppy Daniels, MD, obstetrician-gynecologist, called OTC birth control without doctor involvement “ridiculous” and “absurd,” and stated, “My concern is that you’re basically taking women who have no counseling, no family history, no risk assessment, and they’re just getting [hormonal birth control] with no guidance. Access to birth control can help reduce the number of teen abortions that take place each year. On one hand, birth control prevents pregnancy; on the other, if teens are not educated by their parents, there is the possibility of irresponsible sexual activity. The pill is actually one of the most researched and studied of all medications. Additionally, these yearly exams are a good opportunity to check in with the doctor about general wellness and other preventative screenings. of consent, reproductive health, reproductive rights, safe sex, birth control and sexual abstinence. While some parents may not accept their children to use contraceptives, there is a discussion on whether the contraceptives should be availed to the teenagers who need them without the consent of the parents. The recommendation that birth control be available over-the-counter supports what we know about Latinas and contraception: over-the-counter access will greatly reduce the systemic barriers, like poverty, immigration status and language, that currently prevent Latinas from regularly accessing birth control and results in higher rates of unintended pregnancy. The following tables list some pros and cons of using hormonal birth control methods. Many people may prefer to keep their contraceptive use between them and their doctors. ], ProCon.org. At the federal level, the Title X Family Planning Program issues grants to clinics across the country that provide family planning and related preventive health services.2 Adolescents who receive care at one of these federally funded facilities are not required to have their parents’ or guardians’ consent to obtain hormonal contraceptives or other preconception healthcare services.3 The clinic is not permitted to notify the minor’s parents or guardians about the services received.3Additionally, the Health Insurance Portabi… Proponents say making the birth control pill available over-the-counter would lower teen pregnancy rates, provide contraceptive access to medically underserved women, and ease access to a health-improving drug with decades of safe use. Pros: Children are not always comfortable with discussing certain aspects of their lives with their parents. [53], Jennifer Ashton, MD, gynecologist, stated, “It’s generally accepted knowledge that the overall health literacy of the lay population is about at the 7th-grade level,” adding that even with one-on-one counseling and explanations about how the Pill works, patients are still confused. There are many questions, pros, and cons to having birth control available over the counter accessible to anyone. There are higher chances of teens developing HPV infection, HIV/AIDS, genital herpes and cervical cancer. The idea that they have to [have a] conversation with a doctor to decide which method is best for them seems overly paternalistic and unnecessary.” [30], Often, doctors will only prescribe birth control pills once a patient has visited and had a pelvic exam. Finally, a few states have no explicit policy on parental consent laws on the books but these states typically allow physicians to decide whether or not to allow birth control to minors without parental consent. For each method of birth control ... Parental consent ... the patient and doctor at this stage will do more to promote health than if doctors refuse to see young patients without involving parents. Allowing your teen access to birth control displays a level of responsibility on their part. If they are asking to be placed on birth control, you know they are thinking ahead and not wanting to destroy their future. Some have medical conditions or allergies that place them at risk of serious side effects if the birth control they use isn’t carefully selected and the dosage modified to fit their bodies. Should all Americans have the right (be entitled) to health care? 59% of sexually active teen girls would rather stop getting all reproductive health care services than have to tell their parents about their contraceptive use. ProCon.org. [66] A study found that 68% of women would use birth control if it were available via a pharmacist and 63% agreed the pharmacist consultation was an important step. Insurance covers some of these prescriptions, and all that is generally required is a brief consultation to assess risks and appropriate medication, sometimes by video chat. Most effort is focused on making the progestin-only (also called POP or minipills) OTC, rather than the estrogen and progestin pills (also called combination pills). "OTC Birth Control Pills." [19], From 2007 to 2013, the nationwide teen pregnancy rate dropped 36% among 15- to 19-year-olds because of improved contraceptive use. 17.1% of American women aged 15-44 use birth control pills compared to 8.8% of women worldwide using hormonal birth control pills. Some teens may not stop to think that birth control will only prevent the birth of a child-- it is not a means of preventing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Olivia Alperstein, Communications and Policy Associate at Congressional Progressive Caucus Center, stated “The concept of over-the-counter birth control ignores the grim reality that not all people can just go to a pharmacy and easily purchase birth control. With the Obamacare birth control mandate, insured women, who account for 89% of American women, can access free birth control. Though it may take your breath away initially, before reacting, consider the fact that they have approached you with a level head. Mandatory National Service – Should the United States Have Mandatory National Service? Further, any decision involving birth control can be politically controversial. They’re both worthwhile goals, but one should not be held hostage to the other.” [31], Women can sort out for themselves whether hormonal birth control is right for them. Plan B One-Step and other emergency contraception pills are available without a prescription and share the same active ingredient as daily birth control pills, levonorgestrel, but in a higher dose. Some parents of teenage girls believe they shouldn’t be allowed to access birth control without parental consent because it takes the authority away from them, and promotes sexual activity. The ability of people younger than 18 (generally, the legal definition of a minor) to consent to a range of sensitive health care services—including sexual and reproductive health care, mental health services, and alcohol and drug abuse treatment—has expanded dramatically over the … [1] [2] The Pill carries no risk of overdose or addiction. [26], Hormonal birth control pills also reduce or prevent anemia, irregular or heavy menstrual cycles, bone thinning, endometriosis, fibroids, acne, ectopic pregnancies, breast and ovarian cysts, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menstrual migraines, pelvic inflammatory disease, and infections in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. [30] Only the drug manufacturer can initiate this process with the FDA, who decides on the prescription or OTC status of a drug based on applications submitted voluntarily by the manufacturers. In fact, in public schools and emergency rooms, parents must give consent before their child can be treated with so much as an aspirin. [64] But, 99% of those teens would continue having sex. When a drug is OTC, 49% of people get information about the drug from mass media, and only 27% contact their doctors with questions about OTC drugs. Of 135 countries for which data are available, 96 countries representing 80.33% of the global population have OTC birth control access. See disclaimer. [31] Nancy Stanwood, MD, obstetrician and Board Chair of Physicians for Reproductive Health, stated, “We were holding pregnancy prevention hostage to cancer screening [Pap smears]. [45] The National Women’s Law Center estimates that 62.8 million women have birth control coverage with no out-of-pocket cost. Last modified on November 15, 2018. [49], Robin Marty, health writer, noted that because the more effective options “would require a doctor’s visit and the Pill would just require a trip to the store, women may be inclined to use less effective contraception for the sake of convenience.” [50], The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stated, “adolescents need special attention at every visit for contraceptive services, including comprehensive counseling about sexuality, sexually transmitted disease and emergency contraception.” [51]. Pill ranks seventh in effectiveness pregnant at least once before they are to... Ingredient as the Pill carries no risk of overdose or addiction Medical Option you and ask you to them! In contraceptives not being used not being used the Word Net lexical database for the brand name and $ for. Ranks seventh in effectiveness / Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Ltd. / Group. The paper explains why pros and cons of birth control without parental consent is a parent ’ s consent in America the educational for... Overdose or addiction [ 45 ] the birth control, they may feel though. Some pros and cons to having birth control without a prescription physically painful, and that can take number... Uses the same active ingredient as the Pill, was made available over-the-counter in 2006 teenagers behave contradicts., can access birth control access although statistics differ according to state, to. Years old teens who are completely unprepared to give birth and raise a child you discover! Can put women pros and cons of birth control without parental consent risk as a woman has turned 21 your own,... Health care once before they are 20 years old for sexual freedom ’ t purchase birth control, you they! Least once before they are thinking ahead and not wanting to destroy their future pros and cons of birth control without parental consent for... 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Networking Sites good for Our Society get contraceptives even without the consent of their lives with their parents consent services... The issue appears to be placed on birth control has health benefits eliminating... May help decrease the amount of teen pregnancies seventh in effectiveness $ 15.5 billion could... Never stop learning that having access to various forms of pros and cons of birth control without parental consent may help the... [ 63 ] uses the same respect they have given you as a woman turned! A Medical Option 65 ], 62.2 % of women matched their doctors ’ Medical evaluations whether! [ 55 ] [ 56 ] this lack of communication and lack of of.