Birth Control for Kids?, a story that Time.com ran in October is starting to make headlines again, and it blows my mind. It appears that middle schools in Portland Maine will be allowing the nurses office to prescribe birth control to students as young as 11; without parental consent.
How is it that states continue to remove the right of parents to know what is going on in their children’s lives? Especially when it comes to their heath and putting medication in their bodies? As a father of four (and number five due in September), I find this ludicrous. By doing this the school is telling the kids, “Hey, we know most of your parents wouldn’t approve of this behavior, and since you little rug rats can’t control yourselves, we can give you the pill without mom and dad knowing it. Oh, and your doctor doesn’t have to know either.” Nothing like creating a separation of parent and child.
Parents, what happened to talking with your kids about the choices that will be coming up in their lives? Kids, what happened to the days of talking to your parents about tough decisions? The blame here is on the moms and dads. By allowing decisions like this to be made, where the school and state have more say over what happens in you kid’s life and when you are allowed to know about it, we are giving up our role as a parent. We are telling the government they know better than we do how to raise our children. We are teaching our kids that if they have a problem, mom and dad are the last people that they can talk to, and the school can be trusted more than us.
And since when does anyone but a doctor have the power to write a prescription? How does the nurse know the medical history of each student? Do they always know what other prescriptions the student might be taking? Even dietary pills that you can buy over the counter recommend that consult a physician before taking them, yet this school will allow a student to get a prescription drug with the consent or knowledge of the parent or doctor. C-R-A-Z-Y!
11 years old. Wait, 11 years young. They can give the pill to girls as young as 11. Isn’t this encouraging sex? I did a quick Google search, and it didn’t take long to find that the legal age of consent in Maine is 16. In simpler terms, it is against the law for individuals under the age of 16 to engage in sexual activity. Still the school system is allowed to prescribe birth control pills (only one reason to take those without telling mom and dad) to girls ages 11-15, in effect encouraging them to break the law. Not only are they telling kids they can disregard their parents opinions of morality, they can disregard the law as well. As long as little Johnny and Suzy are happy right?
How do we change this? It starts at home with mom and dad. Pray for your kids. Make time to spend with them. Whether talking, playing, teaching, or just watching TV together, do your part to let them know that you are there for them no matter what. But there will be boundaries; there will be rules they have to live by. And make sure you know what is going on at school regarding your rights as a parent. And if there’s something you don’t like, stand up to it.
Voice your opinion. Get involved.
- chris mooney