Should Teenagers Get Their Parents' Permission To Obtain Birth Control Information and Contraceptives?
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10 May 2007 Should Teenagers Get Their Parents' Permission To Obtain Birth Control Information and Contraceptives? Parents of teenagers, teenagers of parents: There has never been a clearly defined position for either during this volatile period that both parent and teen forge through. Parental involvement related to teenage sexual health issues are among the most incendiary debates in America today. Inevitably, a family confronts this issue at home. As it involves sexual health, sexuality, and intimate relationship, this topic can be difficult, confusing, and embarrassing for teenagers and their parents, causing for other than healthy discussion and supportive parenting. Therefore, teenagers should have the right to obtain birth control information and contraceptives from professional and reputable non-profit organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, without any requirement to get parental permission. Those who champion the idea that laws should require teenagers to involve parents in matters of sexual health often term parental-consent as parental authority. Proponents of parental authority laws tend to focus conveniently on a single point, as if there were only a single star in the heavens - themselves.
Can the disowning occur in the opposite direction? However good and responsible might be a parent's intentions, negative and controlling behavior by a parent usually is destructive and has an everlasting effect. This is strikingly evident in the following story a teenage young woman submitted to the creative writing forum of the Youth Expressions internet website: I remember the day I left my house to live with my boyfriend. I was only fourteen years old. It was a cold night. I remember being so sad for leaving my family. I felt lonely in my new apartment. I was sad and happy - sad, because something inside me didn't want to leave my parent's house. Everything had happened so fast, it was so hard leaving. I remember the new apartment as being so cold and lonely. I was happy being with my boyfriend, but it was just as if I wanted both things - to stay with my family and have my boyfriend. I felt really sad also because I will always remember the things my dad told me when I left my house.
Not wanting to disappoint her parents, she did not tell them and sought an illegal abortion. She sacrificed safety for privacy and paid the ultimate price ("Parental Consent Laws Are Harmful For Teens"). As a former teenager, as well as a current father parenting a past teen and a present twilight teenager, I certainly have had to come to terms with forming a conviction regarding the matter of teenage sexual health and parental involvement that would be in line with my overall parenting philosophy. As a father inevitably confronting this issue at home, I studied the available facts and considered the volume of acrimonious opinion of right verses right (as opposed to right verses wrong). All evidence seemed to support my innate understanding of my responsibility. I will support teens in actively opposing parental-consent legislation and be a supportive parent who is there primarily to listen to my adolescent; that children, in their crux of childhood entering adulthood, need parents to provide for welcome open discussion as well as help and advice without judgment. This is parenting to its fullest that would surely allow for a healthy dialogue regarding sexual health issues between a teenager and parent without destructive barriers and possible tragedy.
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