Should the Government Provide Birth Control on Demand for Teens?

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The New York Times is apparently interested in your take on the question: should the government provide birth control on demand for teens? They write in their biased article on their “Room for Debate” page:

When Colorado offered teenagers and poor women free intrauterine devices and implants, which can prevent pregnancy for years, the birthrate among teenagers fell 40 percent in four years, and their rate of abortions fell by 42 percent.

If access to long-acting birth control is so effective at reducing unwanted pregnancies, should the government provide it free and on demand?

Of course the Times words it as a question, but it’s pretty obvious they only bring it up (with a clearly opinionated introduction meant to ripen people’s minds to answer the question to the affirmative) because they want it to happen. No wonder then, that there’s a parallel ‘debate’ featured on this opinion piece by Bianca Brooks, who so happens to write for The Huffington Post, another teen birth control-pushing site. (If you didn’t know any better, you’d almost think they set it up that way.)

At 15, I got my first prescription for birth control, courtesy of the State of California. The nurse handed me a colorful pamphlet that outlined an array of options: the pill, the plastic insert, NuvaRing, etc. I opted for the pill and headed back to class. It wasn’t long after seeing two girls in my grade become pregnant and drop out that I realized I was given much more than a few options of birth control, but many options regarding how I wanted my future to look.

My belief that the government should provide free, on-demand birth control is deeply rooted in my belief that the primary role of any government is to protect and expand personal liberties. But on a much simpler level, it makes economic sense.

In other words: emotions, emotions, emotions, mixed with a ‘healthy’ respect for a lack of personal responsibility. Birth control equals the freedom to do whatever you want without thinking about possible consequences. Is that what freedom is supposed to be about?

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I’m sorry to say, it isn’t. The Founding Fathers knew all too well that a society that demanded personal liberty while refusing to take responsibility for its actions posed a danger to itself (and the rest of the world). That’s why most if not all of them had a great deal of respect for religion — the best and most effective way to prevent a free people from becoming immoral.

The real solution to teen pregnancies isn’t government issued birth control, like the pill. We need to address the cultural problem. Hearts and minds have to be changed. And no, that shouldn’t be done by D.C., but by local churches, mosques, and synagogues.

Thank God then, that the NYT also published one (1) opinion piece by someone who holds a more reasonable worldview. Grace-Marie Turner writes:

Many of the young women described in The Times article have had a difficult start in life, but they need many more opportunities than sex without consequence. They see too few job opportunities, especially in poorer areas of Colorado. Fostering greater economic opportunities and improving public schools is an appropriate role for government. Government would best attend to its legitimate functions rather than intruding further into the areas of morality and religious conviction.

That’s it, exactly. Young women — teens — shouldn’t be told that they can have sex with whomever they want without fearing the consequences. They must be taught the exact opposite: that everything they do has consequences and that they alone are responsible for them. If you don’t want to have children when you’re 16 years old, the best solution is to not have sex. Not to have someone else pay for your birth control.

It’s beyond me why so few people have the courage to say so nowadays.