Birth control better than no control

Rachel Hettrick, IV Leader Columnist

Recently, the hot issue in the news has been birth control. Between the debates over insurance coverage for birth control to the controversy over Planned Parenthood, this seems to be a debate that will continue to rage.
However, we need to strip away the emotions involved and examine the facts of the matter.
According to the Center for Disease Control, almost half the pregnancies in the United States each year are unplanned.
There are 6 million pregnancies a year, this means that almost three million women a year face the unwelcome news that they will become mothers. The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate of any industrialized country, though the rate of teen sexual activity is the same.
In recent years, there has been a push for abstinence-only sex education in schools. This isn’t working! If we teach teenagers to “Just say no” sex becomes forbidden fruit. Teenagers will have sex. That is just a fact of life. If we ignore the fact, we will simply see the consequences in pregnancies and babies.
One phenomenon that has caused alarm in recent years is the glorification of teenage mothers. Shows like “Teen Mom” and the public pregnancy of Jamie Lynn Spears and Bristol Palin have shown teens that being a mom is OK.
If we are glorifying teen pregnancy in the media and yet urge teens to “wait until marriage” we are sending horribly mixed messages.
Birth control should not be a forbidden topic. Teachers should be able to tell students how to take proper precautions if they do decide to have sex and condoms should be available in the school nurse’s office.
Parents who argue that the kids are too young to be making the choice are missing the point.
Teenagers will be making the choice and having sex. What we can decide for them is how safe they can be.
Would we rather our teens know about birth control… or have a baby?