Planned Parenthood: A Healthy Step

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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that, “In 2010, every 34.3 out of 1000 teens from 15-19 years old are getting pregnant in the United States.” That is the lowest the rate has ever been and it will continually decrease. That is all fine and great, but that is still a higher rate than any western industrialized civilization. The fate of these uneducated teens relies on the community around them. This means friends, educators, parents, and clinics should be involved with teaching teenagers about contraceptives and healthy relationships. This very statement is controversial because it is a constant battle whether teens should be taught these subjects at home or in school. Planned Parenthood should team up with schools to teach teens about sex and contraceptives so they get the accurate information they need to be responsible and build a healthy future.
Planned Parenthood clinics are misjudged as people who just encourage teens to have sex and give abortions. Most parents believe it’s their job to teach teens about sex according to their morals. Marybeth Hicks, a columnist for the Washington Times, feels strongly about Planned Parenthood at school teaching teens about contraceptives. “What's next, I wonder? On-campus safe rooms for lunchtime or after-school trysts? After all, the kids are going to do it anyway.” She claims, “It's our God-given parental responsibility – and privilege – to shape our child's vision of sexuality.” This is true, but it is hard to tell if parents will give the accurate information if they are giving their kids any information at all. Planned Parenthood has given teens the tools to make smart decisions. Yvette Abbott from the Tulsa World, Oklahoma, says “The CDC study noted that increased contraceptive use is largely responsible for the declining rates in teen pregnancy. Today there are more tools and resources than ever for young people to obtain information and access to services that are proven to reduce teen pregnancy.” Teens need a balance between factual and moral information.

Whether it is the parents or the school, this information is vital in shaping teens lives. Not knowing the consequences of unsafe sex can not only be dangerous, but tragic. No one could ever forget the story of Roxana Ramos, the terrified teen who was pregnant in secret and had no idea that she could get help. Diana Schemo reports, “Miss Ramos's denial reached its darkest consequences on Tuesday, the police said. She stayed home from school and gave birth to a 6 1/2-pound boy in secret, while her parents were at work. A short time later, she wrapped the baby in a plastic grocery bag and dumped him in a neighbor's trash can.” She explained, “The teen-ager could have received Medicaid, which would have paid for medical care throughout her pregnancy.” It is so important that teens know that they have these resources. Even if they do have morals, that doesn’t mean they wont make a life changing mistake. It is also hard for teenagers to resort to overpowering parents. They want to go to someone who will understand them and not be judgmental. It is in their nature.

There is also different benefits with teens creating relationships with Planned Parenthood. For a lot of teens, it is their only source of medical care due to low funds in their homes. Even when they are older, teens can apply for medicare with Planned Parenthood so they have coverage. This not only provides contraceptives and treatment for STI’s, it also gives counseling to those who are intimidated by health insurance. Medicaid is teamed up with Tapestry Health Staff who has access to web pages that helps clients browse their options with different types of health insurance. Planned Parenthood is here to help those in need.

Happily, there are even parents that support teens and sex education. Venessa Cruz, mother of two, rather be open as a parent to educate her teens about sex, but encourages teenagers to go to Planned Parenthood if they can’t go to their parents for support. She doesn’t encourage sex, but knows it is a possibility. “ No mother wants their children to be promiscuous; but to expect that your children are going to remain chase until they get married seems a little naive.So the best way to handle it is to provide as much education for both sexes as possible and be as honest as possible about the subject of sex.” She feels strongly about Planned Parenthood as it has helped her when she was a teenager. “Then when I started having sex ( at 17) I had no idea what was going on.I didn't have any idea about what I needed to do.Thank God for Planned Parenthood.That is where I went for help when I needed it.” We need more parents like this that care about their kid’s well-being. If parents want to be the only ones teaching their kids about sex, then they should as open minded as possible, letting their kids know that it is safe to come to them for anything.

Teen pregnancy is all together damaging and heart wrenching. In 1983 a woman changed how government looked at teen pregnancy forever. She stood before congress and explained her sad situation. “But my life has been very difficult. . . . I had ambitions as a child, but my hopes and dreams were almost killed by the burden of trying to raise a child while I was still a child myself.” Ever since then, the United States has taken steps to reduce teen pregnancy rates and it has been working. By giving the teenagers education about contraceptives and sex, teens have been safer and more responsible. But our work is not done. Parents need to step up and talk about sex to their teens. It will shape their decisions and it will make them feel safe with support from the whole community.



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