The problem with pill-popping preteens

By  Amy Crofts, Youth Speak News
  • December 3, 2007

Sometimes I think of myself as the candy man, or my place of work, the local pharmacy, as a candy store. Pills come in all colours, shapes and sizes and the druggist mixes them with love to make the world feel good. However sweet the job is I have developed a few cavities. 
 The thing that’s shocked me most is the amount of birth control and emergency contraception (morning after pill) that is literally handed out like candy to girls not even 15 years old.

{sidebar id=1} Since emergency contraception is available without a prescription, many girls see this as an easy out. It’s infuriating when multiple refills of the drug are handed out; this method is meant for emergency circumstances not multiple times a month after unprotected sex. Most of these girls won’t have to deal with the labour pains as they are getting to the “problem” early on.

In Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae it says the church teaches against using artificial contraceptives because they “obstruct the natural development of the generative process.” Planned Parenthood considers artificial birth control a lesser evil than abortion, though it supports both.

The church supports natural birth control such as natural family planning (NFP) which respects and dignifies human life. NFP teaches a couple how to abstain from intercourse during the fertile period of the menstrual cycle. Methods include Serena, the Creighton Model and the Billings Ovulation Method.

Aside from the many means of natural birth control and the range of spiritual, emotional and physical dedication required, humans do make mistakes.

At times the body proves stronger than the mind; lust more powerful than love, fantasy more tempting than reality. Nevertheless our God is a forgiving one; He welcomes His lost sheep with open arms and an open heart.

Recently, a university sophomore in Kentucky was charged with the murder of her newborn daughter. The young mother gave birth in a bathroom and threw the baby out with the trash instead of dropping her off at the local hospital, no questions asked.

It puzzles me — beyond the obvious of how an intelligent young woman could have such disregard for the value of human life — how the situation escalated to something so cold blooded. If this girl had a strong support system, if she told her parents, her friends, her professors, or confided in God, would the circumstances have been different? If she had made more informed choices before the fact could this have saved an innocent child?

Not all young people have strong support systems at home, school or in their community. However, there are programs geared toward the welfare of youth such as shelters, teen outreach programs and most importantly youth ministry.

Youth need to be there for each other, no matter how awkward, unethical or just plain stupid the situation. If we cannot reach out and pick up our brothers and sisters when they fall, learn from their mistakes and help guide them on their way, then how can we hope to save the world?

(Crofts, 17, studies biology at the University of Calgary.)

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