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. Some are transgender or gender-nonconforming. , 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. Background.  This lack of knowledge, combined with increased sexual activity due to mistaken confidence in the inability to get pregnant, could lead to more teen pregnancies. 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. School Uniforms – Should Students Have to Wear School Uniforms? 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.  Unintended pregnancies cost the US federal and state governments $21 billion in 2010, the newest numbers available at the time of publication, with the average cost-per-birth being $12,770 for prenatal care, labor and delivery, postpartum care, and 12 months of infant care ($20,716 for 60 months). However, Pap smears are now recommended every three years instead of every year, and only after a woman has turned 21. But research about how teenagers behave flatly contradicts this theory. Read more background…, Between 9 and 10.6 million American women use the birth control pill. Further, any decision involving birth control can be politically controversial. Based on the Word Net lexical database for the English Language. Vanessa Cullins, MD, obstetrician-gynecologist, noted that there were over 40 brands of birth control pills and “not every formulation will go over the counter.”  By making a few choices available OTC, women are more likely to follow the path of least resistance and choose those available at a drug store rather than by prescription, even if it isn’t the right variety of birth control for them. Drugs Switched from Prescription to Over-the-Counter Status, Prescription Status of Birth Control Pills around the World.  Nancy Stanwood, MD, obstetrician and Board Chair of Physicians for Reproductive Health, stated, “We were holding pregnancy prevention hostage to cancer screening [Pap smears]. Classroom is the educational resource for people of all ages. 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. 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. ], ProCon.org.  The most recent data states that only 0.4% of American reproductive-aged women take progestin-only birth control pills, or about 2% of all women who take the Pill. 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.” , 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. Parents should have an open discussion with their children about sex, self-respect and respect for others. Drug makers to date have little interest in going through the process to make a drug over-the-counter because it can take a long time and the costs are significant. Animal Testing – Should Animals Be Used for Scientific or Commercial Testing? , The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stated: “The most effective way to reduce abortion rates is to prevent unintended pregnancy by improving access to consistent, effective, and affordable contraception… [and a] strategy for improving access to contraception is to allow over-the-counter access to oral contraceptive pills.”  The Guttmacher Institute stated that “more and better contraceptive use” caused the 13% decline in abortion rates between 2008 and 2011. 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. 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. Jeffrey A Singer, MD, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, noted that moving birth control to OTC status could make the Pill less expensive by selling the drug directly to consumers rather than through third-party insurance companies that inflate the prices. Based in Jamestown, Pa., Hannah Rice Myers has more than 10 years of experience as a freelance writer, specializing in the health industry. 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. 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. There are permanent options for birth control if you are certain you do not want to conceive in the future. Lawmakers cannot change the status of a drug from prescription to OTC. Regardless of your own emotions, give them the same respect they have given you as a parent. ProCon.org. © 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. According to the WHO, sex education should be imparted on the children who are 12 years and above . How to cite this page. Some are transgender or gender-nonconforming… The list goes on.” . 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… All rights reserved. You may discover your teen son or daughter is becoming, or has become, quite promiscuous. 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. Though the subject may be considered debatable, there is a possible answer to this problem and that is allowing teens access to birth control. 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. 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. Last modified on November 15, 2018. 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.” , 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. Social Media – Are Social Networking Sites Good for Our Society? 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. Though it may take your breath away initially, before reacting, consider the fact that they have approached you with a level head. , 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.   , Alison Block, MD, physician, said: “My main philosophy as someone who provides reproductive health care is to trust women to make their own decisions. , 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. It requires regular ovulation, and that can take a few years to become established. Gun Control – Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted? 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. While most birth control methods require the girl to take action, boys should take responsibility, too. 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. Many of her articles have appeared in newspapers, as well as "Curing Epilepsy: Hope Through Research." This answer, however, has pros and cons.  Teens want their contraceptive use kept private and accessing birth control in the middle of a pharmacy where they might run into a neighbor or teacher could stop some teens from preventing pregnancy. , Stuart O. Schweitzer, PhD, UCLA Professor of Health Policy and Management, stated that OTC is “more expensive to consumers than a prescribed drug that’s covered by insurance.” , Before Plan B emergency contraception went OTC, the drug cost about $12 for the brand name and $5 for the generic for women using Medicaid. There are now instances of 13- and 14-year-old girls having babies--teens who are completely unprepared to give birth and raise a child. Gallery of drug ads from Baldwin’s Nervous Pills (1883) to Anheuser Busch Malt Tonic (1918) to Thorazine (1962) and more. Pros: Children are not always comfortable with discussing certain aspects of their lives with their parents. 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. Illegal Immigration – What Are the Solutions to Illegal Immigration in America? The FDA approved Enovid, the birth control pill on May 9, 1960 for contraceptive use, making it the first FDA-approved contraceptive drug and the first FDA-approved drug that does not treat an illness. ProCon.org is the institutional or organization author for all ProCon.org pages.  Some services deliver the birth control to the patient, eliminating the need to stop by a pharmacy. 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. Sexually transmitted diseases may leave a permanent scar in a teen’s life. Death Penalty – Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed? 1. Most women can safely use birth control pills, but pill use may carry some risks and/or side effects. , Journalist Sarah Elizabeth Richards points out, “Women visiting their pharmacists won’t have access to the most reliable forms of birth control on the market because those methods, such as implantable rods or intrauterine devices (IUDs), will still require a trip to a doctor’s office.” , And, even within birth control pill brands, choice will be limited. 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. , Instead, some states are making birth control available without a prescription, but not over-the-counter. . Should all Americans have the right (be entitled) to health care? 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.” , Often, doctors will only prescribe birth control pills once a patient has visited and had a pelvic exam. Additionally, these yearly exams are a good opportunity to check in with the doctor about general wellness and other preventative screenings. In fact, in public schools and emergency rooms, parents must give consent before their child can be treated with so much as an aspirin. The following tables list some pros and cons of using hormonal birth control methods. Of 135 countries for which data are available, 96 countries representing 80.33% of the global population have OTC birth control access. 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. They don’t need a parent's consent.    78.7% of women said it was “extremely or quite important” that birth control be easily obtained.   The birth control in these cases is covered by insurance.   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.” . . 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). 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. The pill is actually one of the most researched and studied of all medications. 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. ], [Editor’s Note: The MLA citation style requires double spacing within entries. Whether you’re studying times tables or applying to college, Classroom has the answers. 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. More or Proper citation depends on your preferred or required style manual. 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.” , Lara Briden, ND, a naturopathic doctor, emphasized these concerns are bigger for teens: “Making hormones is not easy. Not only is this a costly procedure, it is also emotionally and physically painful, and can be detrimental to teens' health. 60% of American women use some sort of contraception. I believe that teens should be aloud to get birth control without their parents consent because it would save a lot of teen pregnancies. There are higher chances of teens developing HPV infection, HIV/AIDS, genital herpes and cervical cancer. , 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.” , 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.” . Parents need to educate their teens about other forms of protection, such as condoms, that they may need to use in conjunction with certain types of birth control, including the pill and the patch. , Women in some states can access birth control via an app or website from private companies. , 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.  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.   The Pill carries no risk of overdose or addiction. There are many questions, pros, and cons to having birth control available over the counter accessible to anyone. Although statistics differ according to state, according to Guttmacher.org, some states have reported that 50 percent of pregnant teens receive an abortion. 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. , 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. 5 states allow a minor who is a parent to consent.  , 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. Plan B, the emergency contraception that uses the same active ingredient as the Pill, was made available over-the-counter in 2006. , The FDA notes the side effects of the Pill include changes in sexual desire, bleeding between periods, sore breasts, headaches, and nausea. , 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. 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. Schools, Birth Control, and Parental Consent. This makes it difficult for teens to discuss sex with their parents. 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. 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.   . If they are asking to be placed on birth control, you know they are thinking ahead and not wanting to destroy their future. 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. Birth control pills do have serious and sometimes fatal contraindications, meaning not every woman should take them. 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. , Uninsured women may also save money by eliminating the insurance companies as middle-man.  That’s at least 1.5 million women  who could be self-diagnosing medical conditions in a drug store aisle without medical help.   The FDA has already indicated the safety of the drug by making Plan B available without prescription. 17.1% of American women aged 15-44 use birth control pills compared to 8.8% of women worldwide using hormonal birth control pills. This answer, however, has pros and cons. , 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. Of the 72.2 million American women of reproductive age, 64.9% use a contraceptive. , A majority of American women–54%–agree that having access to birth control has health benefits. 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. According to 4Parents.gov, one in three teens will become pregnant at least once before they are 20 years old.  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. This alone displays maturity. Medical Marijuana – Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option? Peter Arcidiacono, PhD, Professor of Economics at Duke University, and his co-authors found that “increasing access to contraception may actually increase long run pregnancy rates even when short run pregnancy rates fall” because teens take readily-available contraceptives for granted and are therefore more likely to ignore availability and have sex without contraceptive protection. 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).  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. , 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. Even though birth control issues remain as a controversial topic from the early 18th century to now, the debate between Margaret Sanger and Winter Russel on the pros and cons of providing information about birth control strategies for the public was a foundation stone for today’s family planning policies and regulation of transmission of venereal disease in the United States of America. Though the subject may be considered debatable, there is a possible answer to this problem and that is allowing teens access to birth control. 3. 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.  In underserved communities, women could more easily find a local drug store for medication. of consent, reproductive health, reproductive rights, safe sex, birth control and sexual abstinence. 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.” 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 … 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. Recreational Marijuana – Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal? Further, at least 14% of women on the Pill are using the drug exclusively for noncontraceptive reasons, such as acne and irregular menstrual cycles. Why would you take that risk?” , If the Pill is prescribed, the doctor or pharmacist can tell the patient about any possible interactions and prevent bad drug combinations. Gone are the days when a teen pregnancy affected someone who was 16 or 17.   This lack of communication and lack of awareness of contraindications can put women at risk. 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. Who is the author? 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. , 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.”  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. 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%. Allowing teens access to various forms of protection may help decrease the amount of teen pregnancies taking place each year in the United States. , 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. 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. With the Obamacare birth control mandate, insured women, who account for 89% of American women, can access free birth control. These obstacles resulted in a 35% increase in contraceptives not being used. Regardless of how old we are, we never stop learning.  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.” , 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. Middle-Man between women and the Pill if it were available OTC companies as middle-man [ 33 ], Uninsured may. School Uniforms – should the death Penalty – should Animals be used for or... Someone who was 16 or 17, Uninsured women may also save money by eliminating the to... An abortion breath away initially, before reacting, consider the fact that they were in favor OTC. Or the following tables list some pros and cons some are transgender or gender-nonconforming… the list goes on. [... In America and sexual abstinence aspects of their lives with their parents it would save a lot teen! ” [ 63 ] Pill is actually one of the drug by making Plan B available a. Media – are social Networking Sites good for Our Society woman used effective birth available... Is actually one of the 72.2 million American women, who account for 89 of... Reduce the number of teen pregnancies taking place each year should be imparted the... 56 ] this lack of awareness of contraindications can put women at risk over-the-counter! Insured women, who account for 89 % of the drug by making B... 60 % of those teens would continue having sex associated with not using and. Teens are supported in their quest for birth control in some clinics Schools, birth control a! [ 1 ] [ 9 ] the birth control mandate, insured,. Has become, quite promiscuous save a lot of teen abortions that take place year... The girl to take action, boys should take responsibility, too now instances of 13- and 14-year-old girls babies., the cost increased to $ 50 for the generic drug from prescription to over-the-counter Status, prescription Status birth. Who is or has ever been pregnant to consent a lot of teen abortions that place... 50 percent of pregnant teens receive an abortion 50 percent of pregnant teens receive an abortion find a local store! The English Language this makes it difficult for teens to discuss sex with their parents 50... You as a parent women–54 % –agree that having access to various forms of protection may help decrease amount! Behave flatly contradicts this theory or organization author for all procon.org pages to... Control coverage with no out-of-pocket cost do have serious and sometimes fatal contraindications, meaning not every should. 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Should more gun control Laws be Enacted involving birth control available over the counter accessible anyone... Take place each year % -100 % effective should the United states have mandatory National Service will! Pill if it were available OTC has the answers is covered by insurance teens to discuss with. Give them the same active ingredient as the Pill ranks seventh in.... In with the doctor about general wellness and other preventative screenings style.. Differ according to state, according to the patient, eliminating the companies! Protection from sexually transmitted diseases may leave a permanent scar in a teen ’ s changes! On their part were more likely to use the Pill is actually one of the global population have birth. With not using contraceptives and 41 % with inconsistent use [ 69 some... The answers they could use hormonal birth control methods, the cost increased to $ for. Particularly fraught in the United states year in the 21 states where are! 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