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Persuasive Essay - Giving Birth Control to Teenagers

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Persuasive Essay

Giving Birth Control to Teenagers

"Oh my God, I'm pregnant," said the fifteen-year-old, "this can't be happening."

Unfortunately, teenage pregnancies can happen and do happen. But, teenage pregnancies

do not have to happen. Making birth control readily available at no cost to sexually active

teenagers can reduce the incidence of teen pregnancies. Moreover, making condoms

along with birth control pills available to teenagers would reduce their risk of becoming

infected with sexually transmitted diseases. Our society needs to protect its young people

from the emotional toll and the health risks associated with teenage pregnancies and

sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, society needs to protect itself from the financial

burden that teen pregnancy and childbearing, in particular, places on it. Since teenage

pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases are potentially harmful to all parties involved

and to society as a whole, making birth control available to teenagers is truly a no-brainer.

Many people in our society believe that values education, including the teaching of

abstinence, is the appropriate way to address the issue of teenage sexuality. They tell

society that it is the job of the family, church and/or school to teach teenagers to make

responsible, moral decisions. While this type of education is certainly important and

valuable, it is not enough. Moral education, in addition to contraception, is needed if the

incidence of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases is to be reduced. For

some teens, values education would be successful in delaying sexual activity. But, for the

majority of teenagers it simply would not work. Peer pressure, the media, and their own

bodies are telling them that they are ready for sexual activity. And, teenagers are

notorious for not having the emotional maturity to fully understand the consequences of

their actions, especially the ones that are likely to have far-reaching effects. Upon

learning they are pregnant teenage girls are immediately thrust into an emotional turmoil.

They are faced with making a decision that most teenagers are not emotionally mature

enough to handle. No matter which option the girl chooses she is making a life-altering

decision that could lead to life-long emotional and/or psychological problems.

Very few teens are psychologically ready for the trauma associated with an unplanned

pregnancy. This also holds true for a teenager who learns he or she has a sexually

transmitted disease.

Teenage mothers and their babies have a higher risk of health problems than older

mothers and their infants. Some health risks that are higher for teen mothers include

complications associated with miscarriages, premature labor, and delivery. The death rate

from pregnancy complications is much higher for teenage girls who give birth than for

older mothers. Teenage mothers also have a higher risk of anemia and high blood

pressure. In addition, inadequate nutrition is especially high among teen mothers as their

own bodies are still growing. As a result, they require more nutrition in order to meet

their needs and that of their baby. Babies born to teenage mothers have a much

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